The Royal Game of Ur - Game of Twenty Squares

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The Royal Game of Ur - Game of Twenty Squares

"(...) The world’s first successful board game that was played for 3,000 years before it disappeared." - Irving Finkel

The Royal Game of Ur was known by many names through history, also called the "Game of Twenty Squares". Played by both the wealthy and the common folk, it was a popular way to spend time with or to decide the fate of goods, slaves and livestock by gambling and betting. One of the archaeological relics were found right next to a clay tablet which explained the rules of the particular edition of the game it came with. Throughout Mesopotamia, several versions of this game has been excavated, each seemingly having more or less symbolism ingrained into the design of the tiles. It reinforces the assumption that this game eventually gained superstitious meanings as well, which was important to the players.

This boardgame has been excavated by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, and later got deciphered by Dr. Irving Finkel, the curator of the British Museum as Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian script, languages and cultures in the Department of the Middle East, specialised in cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia.

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My replica of this fascinating board game is made out of laser cut and laser engraved wood, sanded and finished by hand, coated in UV-protective weatherproof matte varnish. The dice are made of terracotta clay, with wooden game pieces. It arrives to you in a neat cardboard box with an informative rule sheet.

I spent substantial amount of time researching and making sure that my replica is an honest recreation of the board which is now displayed in the British Museum. Pieces which seemed to be lost from the board over centuries of corrosion by time were restored on my version, only where it was clear that there were pieces before, and not breaking the pattern by original design.

Due to the characteristics of natural wood, the texture of the engraved details might vary where the layers are exposed.

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DIMENSIONS AND MATERIAL OF THE BOARD GAME:

1:1 replica according to the measurements of the British Museum.

Width: 118 mm
Length: 301 mm
Height: 23.5 mm

4mm Plywood with reinforcing vertical spacers inside.

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CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGING:

- 1 Royal Game of Ur game board
- 7 Dark gamepieces
- 7 Light gamepieces
- 4 Handmade terracotta clay dice
- 1 Rulesheet in wax-sealed envelope

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All orders come with a tracking number.

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If you are interested in how the game is played in action, I recommend checking out this video with Tom Scott, where he is matched against Dr. Irving Finkel!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZskjLq040I

For even more rules and information on the game, the book "Ancient Board Games" by Irving Finkel is a great resource for board game and history enthusiasts, covering The Royal Game of Ur as well.

For more practical information, check out this website: https://sites.google.com/site/boardandpieces/list-of-games/the-royal-game-of-ur

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