Ancient playing pieces unearthed in Siirt to be redesigned as 3D game

Ancient playing pieces unearthed in Siirt to be redesigned as 3D game

SİİRT – Anadolu Agency
Ancient playing pieces unearthed in Siirt to be redesigned as 3D game

Historians and archeologists are currently trying to work out how the game was played 5,000 years ago. AA Photo

A Japanese expert and a U.S. company have begun designing a 3D game using the 5,000-year-old playing pieces that were found during archaeological excavations in the southeastern province of Siirt.

An excavation team headed by Ege University Archaeology Department Assistant Professor Haluk Sağlamtimur found the playing pieces in the Başur mound and put them under protection in the Batman Museum. Work has been carried out in the area for 13 years.

Sağlamtimur said excavations were finished in both the Türbe mounds and the Motit castle, with work still continuing in the Başur and Çattepe mounds.  He said they had found the playing pieces, which were estimated to be used 5,000 years ago, in 2012 in a graveyard in the Başur mound. He said the groups of pieces had two main figures, a swine and a dog, and continued:

“The number of playing pieces is 49 in total. Each group was produced with a different color. The main figures are two animals, dogs and swine. The name of the game is most probably ‘Swine and Dogs.’ There are also many figurative and geometrical pieces.”

Sağlamtimur said the playing pieces attracted everyone’s attention when they were presented in an international symposium, and they needed proposals as to how the game was played.

“It is the mission of everyone working in the field of culture, history and game history to solve how these pieces were used in the game. We failed to find the board on which they were played. A playing board that we found in the graveyard decayed and has been carbonized. This is why it is very difficult to find out how these pieces were used in the game,” he said.

Sağlamtimur said Japanese and U.S. experts had initiated studies to solve the mystery of the playing pieces.

“They want to introduce it into the market as a 3D game. The game found in Siirt now belongs to the entire world. Everyone has right to think on it. Yes, it is very hard because we could not find the playing board, but the data shows that these pieces have a relation with the number four. We think a dice-like object that we found among the pieces was orienting the game. The rich findings in the graveyard, where we found the playing stones, show that these things did not belong to ordinary people,” he added.

He noted that the playing pieces in the Batman Museum would be displayed in the coming days.