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Ancient Mesopotamian Sports:Bowling, Backgammon, Wrestling

People down the ages have never ceased to wonder what the games in Mesopotamia were like. And you cannot blame them as the region was known for its rich culture and civilization which ultimately helped shape many of the world civilizations in the east the west later on. People had their share of fun and frolic 5000 years ago and you would be surprised that they did not experience any less excitement.


Caption- Ancient Mesopotamian Sports

People in ancient Mesopotamia played games that are still popular in today's world where technology has progressed in leaps and bounds. Bowling, backgammon and wrestling are still very popular as they were in ancient Mesopotamia in 3000 BC.

Ancient Mesopotamian's Popular Games


The backgammon we play today was one of the most popular games in early Mesopotamia as well. They used rocks and pebbles and played on a flat ground which served as the modern day board in backgammon.

Ancient Mesopotamian Sports

Caption- Backgammon set,around the 10th century

The game of backgammon is still popular although much has changed in recent years. Five thousand years ago luck played an indelible part in the game as it does till now. The idea of the games in Mesopotamia was revealed from excavation of tombs during archaeological studies done in the region over a couple of centuries.


Bowling was also common and the findings from a tomb have shown a child with pins and balls. The game is believed to have originated nearly 4000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. Hard rock was chiseled and ground to make the surfaces smooth for making balls and pins.

Ancient Mesopotamian Sports

Even though blowing alleys did not exist in those times in ancient Mesopotamia, there was still enough excitement experienced by the players. One had to get the balls after a strike and place the pins properly. The game provided immense excitement and was extremely popular among people from different backgrounds and age groups.


Games were competitive and players struggled to stay ahead of the race. Wrestling in Mesopotamia dates back to 2500 BC and the moves made by them are still common.

Ancient Mesopotamian Sports

Caption- Boxers represented on a Panathenaic amphora. Currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

There are walls in region where the players are depicted wrestling each other in a bid to outdo opponents in Mesopotamia games with some master moves.


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