What was the first "board" game??

Most of the old standbys are real old, but there are games that are older… right? So what are they? I would offer Senat… or Nyout … Mancala even?

Among the board games found in the tomb of Tutankhamen was one called “Thieves”. No one is too sure how it or the other games found were played.

Not that it’s truly relevent to the present question, but Monopoly was originally played on home-made boards of varying design by members of The Society of Friends–that is, The Quakers. The purpose of the game originally was to demonstrate to children the temptations and evils inherent in the private property system. It may be that a great many other commercial board games are refinements of traditional home-made diversions.

Go! is possibly 4000 years old.

Go! is possibly 4000 years old.


The Royal Game of Ur from 2700 BC.

Sorry, the other one was wrong

Both of these web sites are a little vague on the dates, giving a 1000 year window.

Anyone got a cite that can narrow it down?

I’m all for giving the age crown to Backgammon, since it’s even mentioned on the Go! page, but is there a more precise answer?

Triskadecamus, is that the board game mentioned in the 3rd paragraph of the Backgammon link?

I’m pretty sure it’s Mancala, as some boards date back 5-7 thousand years. This link has some fascinating info on boards found in Petra, and mentions the early boards found in Jordan.

The link in my first post was incorrect.

The second post is a hot link to a page about the games discovered from Ur, and Sumeria.