Scientists have discovered an ancient Greek board game in the form of stone spheres (photo)
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According to experts, these stones were smaller than golf balls, different colors and from different materials. Their age ranges from 3,600 to 4,500 years.
During their recent archaeological excavations, researchers from the University of Bristol stumbled upon mysterious stone spheres found in various ancient settlements in the Aegean and Mediterranean, writes Bristol.ac.
In fact, there are many theories among scientists about the purpose of the spheres, which they often find in Santorini, Crete, Cyprus and other Greek islands, including the system of counting, keeping records, throwing balls or pawns.
Previous a study by the same team at the University of Bristol found that sphere sizes varied within certain groups and sets. Based on this, the team wanted to study these areas in more detail in order to understand their potential use.
In their new study, experts examined 700 stones ranging in age from 4,500 to 3,600 years old, found in the Bronze Age city of Santorini, Akrotiri.
The stones were smaller than golf balls, different colors and different materials. Scientists divided them into two groups: larger and smaller. It is worth noting that at Akrotiri and other settlements throughout the Aegean, there are also stone slabs with shallow cup-shaped marks on which spheres could stand or be located.
“Our study showed that the stones were used as counters for a board game,” the scientists said.
If these spheres are actually part of a board game, then they become one of the earliest examples, along with similar finds from the Levant and Egypt.
< p>“The social significance of the spheres, as evidenced by the way they were placed in specific cavities, also supports the idea that the spheres are part of a game played for social interaction,” concluded and specialists.