For 4,600 years, a mysterious game slept in the dust of southern Iraq, largely forgotten. The passion of a museum curator and the hunger of young Iraqis for their cultural history may bring it back.
The New York Times has a story on The Royal Game of Ur: Play the Oldest Board Game on Record. A curator at the British Museum, Irving Finkel, connected the translation of a tablet with the rules with an ancient board game of which there were copies in museums (see picture above). More recently the game has been reintroduced into Iraq so that people can rediscover their ludic heritage.
The nice thing about the NYTimes article, beside the video of Finkel who has an amazing beard, is that they include a PDF that you can download and print to learn to play the game.
The article and Finkel’s video talk highlight how influential a game can be – how a set of rules can be a meme that helps rediscover a game.