Archeologists digging in the Bronze age settlement come across a surprising artifact in the ancient settlement in the desert, an ancient board game that is 4000-years old. The excavation site in the Ayn Bani Sa'dah in the Qumayrah Valley is where researchers found the archaic game.
Excavators from the University of Warsaw and an Oman government agency are responsible for caring for antiquities and everything related to ancient artifacts.
Antique board game found proves recreation in ancient times
After the digs done in the Qumayrah Valley in December, a gameboard artifact was seen in the ruins of a room. It had thirteen marked squares and had an indent in the center, reported the Daily Mail.
Piotr Bieliński, a Polish archeologist from Warsaw University, made a statement regarding the find, saying it is a one in a million chance to uncover. However, examples of the game would be found in India and Mesopotamia, which even stretches to the Eastern Mediterranean.
He added that it has a striking similarity to one of the games found in a grave from ancient Ur played a similar way as the one in Oman, cited the Oman Observer.
Although the Ayn Bani Sa'dah game rules have already been lost to time, the closest approximation would be backgammon in recent times if it were played like the Royal Game of Ur.
Played by two people who would roll dice to be the first to remove all the pieces on the playing board to be the winner, the loser would be the one left on the board.
Like in playing backgammon, the ancient board game found in Bronze age settlement, each player can win by taking an opposing piece of the opponent back to the beginning position.
Besides the ancient game, the scientist uncovered the ruins of a copper smelting tower situated in the old settlement, according to Notes From Poland.
Other discoveries from the Ayn Bani Sa'dah site
More of the discoveries by the group include some objects from the Second Iron Age that are the stone remains they scattered all over the valley.
The joint Omani-Polish team remarked that the valleys of the Hajar mountains in the north had not been investigated that much compared to other places in Oman.
Excavation in the valley has been going on since 2015, with the discovery of ruins that date from five specific epochs when civilizations flourish in ancient times.
One place is the locale around the Ayn Bani Sa'dah, with traces of habitations during the late Neolithic or later Stone Age in 4300 to 4000 BCE (before the common era). Another period is the Umm an-Nar phase of the Bronze Age (2600-2000 BCE), with the Second Iron Age (1100-600 BCE).
They discovered the remains of a Late Islamic- epoch village that was on top of an earlier habitation in the valley. Professor Bieliński called the area one of Oman's key prehistory sites in the said location.
He explained that 'Ayn Bani Sa'dah is located at a nexus of routes connecting known settlement in the south, north and the east where the sea coast is close to Sohar. In the period of Umm an-Nar, this connected known civilization in Oman then. Professor Bieliński was hoping the current site is an important one.
The ancient board game on the site showed an aspect of the Bronze age settlement, an insight into how their former residents entertained themselves.