Various games were popular in ancient Egypt. They were diverse and took a number of forms. Games were for all, some favored by adults, others by children and some by all ages. Games of all kinds of indoor games, outdoor sports, and informal games were played by many Egyptians.
The Game Of Senet
Board games were very popular in ancient Egypt and were a favorite leisure time activity as well. Senet was one of the most popular and was played by two people. The game was played both on elaborate boards as well as by simply scratching marks on ground. Many representations in tombs illustrate the game of Senet being played by people. Also, many boards, counters and throw sticks have been excavated intact from a number of archaeological sites. The board game had thirty squares in rows of three having ten in each. The Game of Senet had symbols representing good or bad fortune and good luck in the game was considered a blessing from the gods.
As mentioned, the board game senet was the most popular indoor game played in ancient Egypt. Boards of all kinds ranging from simple ones to elaborate ones have been excavated from various sites and many etchings also illustrate show how popular the game was during this era.
Twenty squares was another popular board game that came from Asia. Many boards of this game have also been discovered. Most games were played by two people. The snake was another game which could be played by six people at a time. Not much about the rules of these games are known as tomb inscriptions did not give any details.
Games Played By Children
Children’s games were not that organized and included everything from challenges like racing, balancing, wrestling and tug of wars to ball games and more. Balls made from papyrus were used. Girls played a game called pressing where they held hands in a circle. Dancing was also common and may have been a part of the games played by girls; children are also known to have played with toys some of which were very complex.
Many sports games that were organized were played during the ancient Egyptian era. Some favorites included fencing with sticks, boxing and wrestling. It’s believed that ancient Egyptians had their own early Olympics with games like gymnastics, handball, hockey, weightlifting and javelin. Equestrian sports, high jump, swimming, boating, archery, long distance running, tug of war and many others. An effort to revive these old games into a national event are still going on in Luxor. Most excavations and findings of archeologists and Egyptologists clearly show that although Egyptians were busy building pyramids, fighting wars and practicing religious ceremonies they also had a good time enjoying a number of different indoor and outdoor games.