Board for the game of pegs and holes
Near Eastern, Levantine
Middle Bronze Age
about 2000–1500 B.C.
4 x 13.4 x 28 cm (1 9/16 x 5 1/4 x 11 in.); Legacy dimension: L: 28 cm W: 13.4 cm H: 4 cm
Medium or Technique
Limestone; reproduction pegs
Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)
This board was used for an immensely popular game enjoyed from Egypt to Iran. Played with pegs, the game seems to have been a race in which the opposing pieces, by counts of dice, were moved down the inner rows of holes and up the outer rows on their respective sides. The first player to reach the hole at the top probably seized an opposing piece, and the game likely continued until one player won all his opponent’s pieces. The displayed pegs, with heads of horses and hounds, have been reproduced from fragmentary ivory originals excavated by the Museum in the Sudan in 1919.
By 1996: with Oceanside Ancient Art, 1001 Fifth Avenue, #7A, New York, NY 10028; 1996: purchased by the MFA from Oceanide Ancient Art, 22 May 1996.
Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund