Ancient game found in Roman era city
BURDUR - Anadolu Agency
A popular board game from the Roman Empire has been found in Kibyra. AA PhotoTwo game pieces from the Roman era 1,800 years ago have been found in the ancient city of Kibyra, in the southern Turkish province of Burdur’s Gölhisar district.
“We don’t have too much information about this game but we believe that it was played by two people on squares … with dice,” Professor Ünal Demirer said, adding that the Roman-era game dated back 1,800-2,000 years ago at least.
The game was known as “Ludus duodecim scriptorium” or “XII scripta” (game of 12 markings).
Excavations in the ancient city are being conducted by Mehmet Akif Ersoy University’s (MAKU) Archaeology Department.
Demirer said the works had been continuing since 2007 on the avenue of the ancient city’s agora, adding that the game pieces were also used for other purposes.
“The game was found in the pool structure. We think that it was also used for another purpose. Because of its Latin name, we attribute the game to the Romans. It is like today’s Jacks. People spent time in the agora playing such games,” he said.
"Ludus duodecim scriptorum" was a board game popular during the time of the Roman Empire. The game tabula in Byzantium is thought to be a descendant of this game, and both are similar to modern backgammon.
Very little information about specific gameplay has survived, though we know that it was played using three cubic dice, and each player had 15 pieces.