A game board made of stone with marked fields was discovered by Polish archaeologists in an ancient settlement that is more than 4,000 years old. Such finds are considered rare and very fortunate. Similar game boards were found in the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia. Nauka W Polsce portal tells about the find.
The discovery, made last December, was reported by specialists from the Polish Center for Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw. The specialists conducted research on a Bronze and Iron Age settlement near the village of Ain Bani Saida in Oman.
“We found a game board in one of the rooms of a large building from the Umm-an-Nar period!” – says Professor Peter Belinsky, head of the study. The scientists describe the find, which dates from 2500-2000 B.C., as “the most exciting and completely unexpected” in the last season of research.
According to the scientists, the area of the village of Ain Bani Saida was in prehistoric times a place located at a strategically important crossroads connecting major centers of antiquity: Bath in the south, Al-Ain in the north and the sea coast near the port of Sohar in the east.
“The Umm al-Nar settlement is unique in that it has four towers, three round and one irregularly shaped. Despite their size, almost 20 meters in diameter, none of the round towers has been seen on the surface. All the structures were only discovered during excavations. The purpose of these towers is not yet known to us,” added Dr. Agnieszka Pienkowska of the University of Warsaw.
The researchers also found evidence of copper working at the site. Professor Bielinski noted that the settlement was involved in this trade mentioned in written sources from Mesopotamia. Also, in his opinion, Oman was a metallurgical power of that era.