The Origin of Modern Boardgames
Taylor Liss
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I have recently gained interest in the history of boardgames. Aside from browsing a few websites and Wikipedia pages, I have found the history of boardgames very scattered. This geeklist is my attempt to arrange the history of boardgames into one coherent list.

I will try to cite sources when possible and to include as many boardgames as possible. I am more interested in pre-modern boardgames and will try to focus on those more (i.e. pre-1980 games).

If you have games or data to contribute, please submit them as comments and I will do my best to add them to the list and look up their separate histories.

This looks useful: http://spotlightongames.com/list/timegame.html
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1. Board Game: Jiroft [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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c. 3500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 3500 BC - Jiroft civilization The layout of the holes on the "eagle" boards is also identical to the layout of some twenty-square boards used in ancient Egypt, where the game, known as Aseb, was sometimes put on the other side of case-style Senet boards.
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2. Board Game: Senet [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:4505] [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
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c. 3500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 3500 BC - Senet found under Predynastic Egyptian burials; also depicted in the tomb of Merknera.

...

c. 2500 BC - Paintings of Senet and Han being played depicted in the tomb of Rashepes
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3. Board Game: Mehen [Average Rating:5.35 Unranked]
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c. 3000 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 3000 BC - The Mehen board game from Predynastic Egypt, was played with lion-shaped gamepieces and marbles.
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4. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:917]
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c. 3000 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 3000 BC - Ancient Backgammon set, found in the Burnt City in Iran

...

220-265 - Backgammon enters China under the name t'shu-p'u (Source: Hun Tsun Sii).
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5. Board Game: Hounds and Jackals: Game of the Pharaohs [Average Rating:4.39 Unranked]
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c. 2160 BC

From: here

Quote:
Both Murray and Partlett indicate that this must have been a popular game from the 9th to the 12th Dynasties since a number of boards and game pieces have been found in archeological digs from Egypt, Summer, Elam, Assyria, and related areas.

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Quote:
Around 2160 BC a new line of pharaohs (the Ninth and Tenth Dynasties) consolidated Lower Egypt from their capital in Herakleopolis Magna, descended from a pharaoh named Akhtoy.
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6. Board Game: The Royal Game of Ur [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:9947]
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c. 2560 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 2560 BC - Board of the Royal Game of The Royal Game of Ur (found at Ur Tombs)
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7. Board Game: Aseb [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
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c. 2000 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 2000 BC - Drawing in a tomb at Benihassan depicting two unknown board games being played (depicted in Falkner). It has been suggested that the second of these is Tau.

(Note: Tau is another name for Aseb.)
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8. Board Game: Liubo [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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c. 1500 BC

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Quote:
c. 1500 BC - Liubo carved on slab of blue stone. Also painting of board game of Knossos.
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9. Board Game: Knossos [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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c. 1500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 1500 BC - Liubo carved on slab of blue stone. Also painting of board game of Knossos.
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10. Board Game: Alquerque [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:8285]
 
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c. 1400 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 1400 BC - Game boards including Alquerque, Nine Men's Morris, and a possible Mancala board etched on the roof of the Kurna temple. (Source: Fiske, and Bell)
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11. Board Game: Nine Men's Morris [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:10842]
Taylor Liss
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c. 1400 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 1400 BC - Game boards including Alquerque, Nine Men's Morris, and a possible Mancala board etched on the roof of the Kurna temple. (Source: Fiske, and Bell)
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12. Board Game: Mancala [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:3071]
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c. 1400 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 1400 BC - Game boards including Alquerque, Nine Men's Morris, and a possible Mancala board etched on the roof of the Kurna temple. (Source: Fiske, and Bell)
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13. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:71]
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548 BC

From here:

Quote:
548 BC - The earliest written references to Go/Weiqi come from the Zuo Zhuan, which describes a man who likes the game.

...

c. 200 BC - A Chinese Go/Weiqi board pre-dating 200 BC was found in 1954 in Wangdu County. This board is now in Beijing Historical Museum.
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14. Board Game: Chaturanga [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:6992]
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c. 500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 500 BC - The earliest reference to Chaturaji or Pachisi written in the Mahabharata.
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15. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1724]
Taylor Liss
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c. 500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 500 BC - The Buddha games list mentions board games played on 8 or 10 rows.
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16. Board Game: Pachisi [Average Rating:4.45 Overall Rank:11155]
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c. 500 BC

From here:

Quote:
c. 500 BC - The earliest reference to Chaturaji or Pachisi written in the Mahabharata.
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17. Board Game: Patolli [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
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c. 200 BC

From Sports and Games of the Renaissance by Andrew Leibs (page 113):

Quote:
Patolli was played throughout Mesoamerica, with the Teotihuacanos, who built Teotihuacan (c.200 B.C. - A.D. 650), and was passed on to every culture (Toltec, Mayan, Zaptotecs)until the Spanish conquests that began in the 15th and early 16th centuries.
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18. Board Game: Petteia [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked]
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116-27 BC

From here:

Quote:
116-27 BC - Marcus Terentius Varro's Lingua Latina X (II, par. 20) contains earliest known reference to Latrunculi.


(Note: Latrunculi is another name for Petteia)
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19. Board Game: Duodecim Scriptorum [Average Rating:5.47 Unranked]
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1 BC - 8 AD

From here:

Quote:
1 BC-8 AD - Ovid's Ars Amatoria contains earliest known reference to Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum.
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20. Board Game: Yut Nori [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:8951]
 
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57 BC - 668 AD

From here:

Quote:
Yut (sometimes romanized as nyout or yoot) is a traditional board game played in Korea, especially during Korean New Year. Its origins are unclear, but there is ample evidence that yut was played at the time of the Three Kingdoms (57 BCE - 668 CE).
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21. Board Game: Keno [Average Rating:1.94 Unranked]
Taylor Liss
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c. 205 BC

From here:

Quote:
Keno originated in ancient China in the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 B.C. Chinese immigrants brought the game to America in the 19th century.
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22. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:693]
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c. 300 AD

From here:

Quote:
[Xiangqi] may have been played as early as the 4th century BC, by Tian Wen (田文), the Lord of Mengchang (孟嘗君) for the state of Qi, during the Warring States Period.
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23. Board Game: Hnefatafl [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1962]
Taylor Liss
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c. 400 AD

From here:

Quote:
c. 400 onwards - Tafl games played in Northern Europe.
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24. Board Game: Chaturanga [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:6992]
Taylor Liss
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c. 600 AD

From here:

Quote:
c. 600 The earliest references to Chaturanga written in Subandhu's Vasavadatta and Banabhatta's Harsha Charitha.
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25. Board Game: Ouk Chatrang [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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c. 600 AD

From here:

Quote:
c. 600 - The earliest reference to Chatrang written in Karnamak-i-Artakhshatr-i-Papakan.
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