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An Egyptian Game in Athens

Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi, Walter Crist, Alex de Voogt


Egyptian playing pieces found at Greek sites signal the possible introduction of senet in the Aegean region but no actual board has yet been excavated in Greece. The senet board with a recumbent lion, exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum at Athens and published here for the first time, was in fact collected in Egypt. Instead this object provides a rare example of an Egyptian board featuring an ornamental animal on the edge of the board. Stylistic comparisons between this board and other decorated examples suggest that senet boards—documented in the Levant, Cyprus, and Nubia—have inspired other versions of race games beyond these regions, possibly including a series of Neo-Assyrian games of fifty-eight holes with animals on their flat end.

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