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Meroitic Graves with Roman Games: Elites Moving the Borders of Play

Abstract : In 1963 two sets of gaming materials were excavated from a Meroitic necropo-lis in Sedeinga, Sudan. Comparative analysis of the unpublished archaeological descriptions shows that these are likely examples of the Roman game of Duodecim Scripta. Carbon dating and epigraphic evidence dates these games to the first centuries ce while wood analysis shows the use of African blackwood or Dalbergia melanoxylon as the main material for the game board and pieces. The presence of Roman games in elite Meroitic graves points at an introduction of this game into the Meroitic world. In the history of Roman games this find is a rare example of Duodecim Scripta in which wooden board and playing pieces together with cubic dice are found preserved in a grave context.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02539305
Contributor : Vincent Francigny <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 5:31:12 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:58 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-02539305, version 1

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Alex de Voogt, Francigny Vincent, Pieter Baas. Meroitic Graves with Roman Games: Elites Moving the Borders of Play. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 2017, p. 23-33. ⟨halshs-02539305⟩

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