Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

One-Of-A-Kind Ancient Board Game, Looters' Remains Excavated In A Tomb In China

Nov 17, 2015 07:23 PM EST


Pieces of an ancient board game left unplayed for approximately 1500 years were found by a group of archaeologists. These one-of-a-kind artifacts were found near Qingzhou City in China at a 2300-year-old looted tomb.

Among the pieces they found were a 14-sided die made from an animal tooth where only 12 faces, as LiveScience reports, "are numbered 1 through 6 in a form of ancient Chinese writing known as 'seal script'. Each number appears twice on the die while two faces were left blank"; 21 game pieces with rectangular form and with numbers painted; and a broken chunk of game board, according to LiveScience. In a report published by the journal Chinese Cultural Relics, when the tile was repaired and "decorated with two eyes, which are surrounded by cloud-and-thunder patterns."

The board game artifacts seemed to have resembled the popular game in ancient China during the Han Dynasty known as "Bo" or "Liubo," which had been left unplayed for around 1500 years already. Ancient Origins reports that in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the game-playing pieces include chess pieces, a dice, a square board and cutting/scraping knives.

Proofs that the tomb was broadly looted were conspicuous. In fact, what seemed to be the remains of the alleged looters were found in one of the 26 shafts dug by these grave burglars. Date and reason why the body was interred there including the age and sex are still to be investigated.

As to whom the tomb belongs to was not known; however, experts believe that this must have been built for the haut monde of the state of "Qi." Measuring about 330 feet long, the tomb has two ramps that bring to a staircase descending into the burial chamber where massive looting can be noted.

"Despite the huge scale of the tomb, it has been thoroughly robbed," the archaeologists stated. "The coffin chamber was almost completely dug out and robbed, suffering severe damage in the process."

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