Ancient Mesopotamians.com

Home
Akkad of Mesopotamia
Food & Drink
Tigris River
Mesopotamia Timeline
Domestic Animals
Art & Crafts
Calendar Concept
Civilization History
Clothing / Dressing
Common Crops Produced
Farming / Agriculture
History in Brief
Homes / Houses
Inventions / Contribution
Marriage Institution
People & Society
Religion / Beliefs
Sports / Games
Cuneiform Writing
Decline Of Mesopotamia
Fertile Crescent
Mesopotamia Museum
Mesopotamia Wheels
Cylinder Seals
Mesopotamian History
Irrigation System
Social System
Sargon of Mesopotamia
Slavery in Mesopotamia
Invention of Wheel
Trade In Mesopotamia
Egypt Similarities
Babylon City State
Crops Taken
Popular Games Played
Mesopotamia Geography
Gilgamesh Poem
Houses in Mesopotamia
Images of Structures
Irrigation System
Jewellery Making
Jobs / Occupations
Laws in Mesopotamia
Persia Relation
Pottery making
Social Structure
New Articles

Ancient Mesopotamian Sports And Games

All civilisations in the world spent their leisure time in sports, games or other entertainment. Mesopotamia was no exception. Many of the games of ancient world are similar to modern ones. Entertainment was part of their daily life. Games and sports were held in holidays and festival days.

ancient-mesopotamian-sports-and-games

Besides hunting, boxing and wrestling were popular means of entertainment. Some form of polo and rugby also amused the Mesopotamians. Board games similar to Senet and backgammon prevailed. Many forms of toys like toy guns, boomerangs, throw sticks, rattles were used by children.

Hunting was a very popular pastime of the Mesopotamians, especially the kings. Hunting scenes are depicted in the walls of ancient palaces. We know that Assyrian kings enjoyed hunting lions, elephants and ostriches.

ancient-mesopotamian-sports-and-games

Lion hunting by the king was a horrible event. Lions were put in wooden cages. Then, the lion was released to be attacked by dogs and beaters. The beaters would beat the lion with sticks and drive them to the king who killed it with a bow or spear. Religious ceremonies were conducted after the death of the lion.

Knowledge about board games is obtained from archaeological excavations. Boards were made of clay and stone. The game of twenty squares was similar to the Egyptian game. It involved a race using pieces that moved according to rolls of the dice. It is said that this was the favourite of palace guards.

Two lot boards contained instructions about how the game was played. 84 sections were drawn on the ground and the names of pieces were eagle, raven, rooster, swallow etc. Disc was an important throw subject. Dices were bone, clay, stone or even glass cubes.
Joint bones and throw sticks were other throw objects. Backgammon was a game which largely depended upon luck. The movement of the pieces along the board depends on the numbers thrown. At around 2000 BC, the six sided dice was developed.

Terracotta plaques show boxers indicate the popularity of boxing. In the epic of Gilgamesh, there is a reference to wresting match between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Polo was played in a different form, men sat on the shoulders of other men rather than on horses. The epic of Gilgamesh also give reference to this game.

Both action and non action toys were loved by the children. Sling shots, bows and arrows, spinning top, puck and mallet, hoop, balls etc were the toys of those times. For role playing, kids used miniature furniture such as tables, beds, stools, dolls and small-sized animals. There were miniature vehicles like cats, wagons, chariots and ships.






 

Copyright 2013 - All rights reserved