Tables (board game)
Tables is a general name given to a class of board games similar to backgammon, played on a board with two rows of 12 vertical markings called "points". Players roll dice to determine the movement of pieces. Tables games are among the oldest known board games, many variants are played throughout the world; the ancient Egyptians played a game called Senet, which belonged to the same family of "race games" as modern tables games, with moves controlled by the roll of dice as early as 3500 BC. The Royal Game of Ur, played in ancient Mesopotamia, is another member of the family. Recent excavations at the "Burnt City" in Iran showed that a similar game existed there around 3000 BC; the artifacts include 60 pieces. The set is believed to be 100 to 200 years older. Though they are all race games they cannot be direct ancestors of backgammon. Roman Tabula was nearly identical to modern backgammon; the board was the same with 24 points, 12 on each side, players moved their pieces in opposite directions, the dice were cubes as today.
As in backgammon the object of the game was to be the first to bear off all of one's checkers, of which there were, as in backgammon, fifteen per player. Hitting a blot, reentering a piece from the bar, bearing off, all had the same rules as today; the chief differences with modern backgammon were the use of three rather than two dice, the starting of all pieces off the board, no doubling cube. The same word is still used to refer to backgammon in Greece today, where it remains a popular game played in central village squares and coffee houses; the τάβλη of Zeno's time is believed to be a direct descendant of the earlier ancient Roman Ludus duodecim scriptorum with that board's middle row of points removed, only the two outer rows remaining. Ludus duodecim scriptorum used a board with three rows of 12 points each, the pieces were moved across all three rows according to the roll of three dice; the earliest known mention of the game is in Ovid's Ars Amatoria. In the 11th century Shahnameh, the Persian poet Ferdowsi credits Burzoe with the invention of nard in the 6th century.
He describes a Raja visiting from India. The Raja introduces the game of chess, Burzoe demonstrates nard, played with dice made from ivory and teak. In 1254, Louis IX issued a decree prohibiting his court officials and subjects from playing dice games. While it is known for its extensive discussion of chess, the Alfonso X manuscript Libro de los juegos, completed in 1283, describes rules for a number of dice and tables games. In English, the word "tables" is derived from Latin tabula, its first use referring to board games documented by the Oxford English Dictionary was circa AD 700. Tables should not be confused with Tafl, an unrelated class of board games played in medieval Scandinavia. Tâb and tablan may, on the other hand, be descendants of tabula; the game known in the West as backgammon is played in the Middle East and Central Asia. It is known as ifranjiah in Arabic, is referred to as takhti nard in Iran. In many Arabic speaking countries, the game is known as "shesh besh", a combination for the sake of the rhyme of Persian "shesh" and Turkish "besh".
Modern day Hebrew has borrowed this name from Arabic and backgammon is called "shesh besh" in Israel. The name nardshēr comes from the Persian nard and shēr referring to the two type of pieces used in play. A common legend associates the game with the founder of the Sassanian dynasty, Ardashir I; the oldest known reference to the game is thought to be a passage in the Talmud. Many of the early Arabic texts which refer to the game comment on the debate regarding the legality and morality of playing the game; this debate was settled by the eighth century when all four Muslim schools of jurisprudence declared the game to be Haraam, however the game is still played today in many Arab countries. Mahbusa means "imprisoned"; each player begins with 15 checkers on his opponent's 24-point. If a checker is hit, it is not placed on the bar, but instead, the hitting piece is placed on top, the point is controlled by the hitting player; the checker, hit is imprisoned and cannot be moved until the opponent removes his piece.
Sometimes, a rule is used that requires a player to bring his first checker around to his home board before moving any others. In any case, a rapid advance to one's own home board is desirable, as imprisoning the opponent's checkers there is advantageous. Mahbusa is similar to tapa. maghribiyya. Tawlet zaher, meaning "table of dice". A feature of tables play in some Arab countries is that Persian numbers, rather than Arabic ones, are called out by a player announcing his dice rolls. People in the Iranian plateau and Caucasus region in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Russia, are fond of playing narde. All 15 of a player's checkers are positioned on his own 24-point, but there is a major difference. One is forbidden to put his checker at a point occupied by one's opponent's checker, so there is no hitting or imprisonment in the long narde game; the main strategy is to secure playing "big pairs" by one's own checkers and prevent as much as possible doing the same by the opponent. The game is known as'Fevga' in Greece,'Moultezim'
Isidore of Seville
Saint Isidore of Seville, a scholar and, for over three decades, Archbishop of Seville, is regarded, as the 19th-century historian Montalembert put it in an oft-quoted phrase, "The last scholar of the ancient world."At a time of disintegration of classical culture, aristocratic violence and illiteracy, he was involved in the conversion of the Arian Visigothic kings to Catholicism, both assisting his brother Leander of Seville, continuing after his brother's death. He was influential in the inner circle of Sisebut, Visigothic king of Hispania. Like Leander, he played a prominent role in the Councils of Seville; the Visigothic legislation that resulted from these councils influenced the beginnings of representative government. His fame after his death was based on his Etymologiae, an etymological encyclopedia which assembled extracts of many books from classical antiquity that would have otherwise been lost. Isidore was born in a former Carthaginian colony, to Severianus and Theodora. Both Severianus and Theodora belonged to notable Hispano-Roman families of high social rank.
His parents were members of an influential family who were instrumental in the political-religious maneuvering that converted the Visigothic kings from Arianism to Catholicism. The Catholic Church celebrates him and all his siblings as known saints: An elder brother, Saint Leander of Seville preceded Saint Isidore as Archbishop of Seville and, while in office, opposed king Liuvigild. A younger brother, Saint Fulgentius of Cartagena, served as the Bishop of Astigi at the start of the new reign of the Catholic King Reccared, his sister, Saint Florentina, served God as a nun and ruled over forty convents and one thousand consecrated religious. This claim seems unlikely, given the few functioning monastic institutions in Iberia during her lifetime. Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, the first of its kind in Iberia, a body of learned men including Archbishop Saint Leander of Seville taught the trivium and quadrivium, the classic liberal arts.
Saint Isidore applied himself to study diligently enough that he mastered Latin, acquired some Greek, Hebrew. Two centuries of Gothic control of Iberia incrementally suppressed the ancient institutions, classic learning, manners of the Roman Empire; the associated culture entered a period of long-term decline. The ruling Visigoths showed some respect for the outward trappings of Roman culture. Arianism meanwhile took deep root among the Visigoths as the form of Christianity that they received. Scholars may debate whether Isidore personally embraced monastic life or affiliated with any religious order, but he undoubtedly esteemed the monks highly. After the death of Saint Leander of Seville on 13 March 600 or 601, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. On his elevation to the episcopate, he constituted himself as protector of monks. Saint Isidore recognized that the spiritual and material welfare of the people of his See depended on the assimilation of remnant Roman and ruling barbarian cultures, attempted to weld the peoples and subcultures of the Visigothic kingdom into a united nation.
He succeeded. Isidore eradicated the heresy of Arianism and stifled the new heresy of Acephali at its outset. Archbishop Isidore strengthened religious discipline throughout his See. Archbishop Isidore used resources of education to counteract influential Gothic barbarism throughout his episcopal jurisdiction, his quickening spirit animated the educational movement centered on Seville. Saint Isidore introduced Aristotle to his countrymen long before the Arabs studied Greek philosophy extensively. In 619, Saint Isidore of Seville pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who in any way should molest the monasteries. Saint Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun on 13 November 619, in the reign of King Sisebut, a provincial council attended by eight other bishops, all from the ecclesiastical province of Baetica in southern Spain; the Acts of the Council set forth the nature of Christ, countering the conceptions of Gregory, a Syrian representing the heretical Acephali. Based on a few surviving canons found in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, Saint Isidore is known to have presided over an additional provincial council around 624.
The council dealt with a conflict over the See of Écija, wrongfully stripped bishop Martianus of his see, a situation, rectified by the Fourth Council of Toledo. It addressed a concern over Jews, forced to convert to Christianity by Sisebut failing to present their children for baptism; the records of the council, unlike the First and Second Councils of Seville were not preserved in the Hispana, a collection of canons and decretals edited by Saint Isidore himself. All bishops of Hispania attended the Fourth National Council of Toledo, begun on 5 December 633; the aged Archbishop Saint Isidore presided over its deliberations and originated most enactments of the council. Through Isidore's influence, this Council of Toledo promulgated a decree, commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their cathedral cities along the lines of the cathedral school at Seville, which had educated Saint Isidore decades earlier; the decree prescribed the study of Greek and the liberal arts and encouraged interest in law and medicine.
The authority of the Council made this education policy obligatory upon all bishops of the Kingdom of the Visigoths. The council granted remarkable deference to the king of the Visigoths; the independe
Ludus duodecim scriptorum
Ludus duodecim scriptorum, or XII scripta, was a board game popular during the time of the Roman Empire. The name translates as "game of twelve markings" referring to the three rows of 12 markings each found on most surviving boards; the game tabula is thought to be a descendant of this game, both are similar to modern backgammon. It has been speculated that XII scripta is related to the Egyptian game senet, but some consider this doubtful because, with the exception of limited superficial similarities between the appearance of the boards, the use of dice, there is no known evidence linking the games. Another factor casting doubt on this link is that the latest known classical senet board is over half of a millennium older than the earliest known XII scripta board. Little information about specific gameplay has survived; the game was played using three cubic dice, each player had 15 pieces. A possible "beginners' board", having spaces marked with letters, has suggested a possible path for the movement of pieces.
The earliest known mention of the game is in Ovid's Ars Amatoria. An ancient example of the game was excavated at the archaeological site of Kibyra in southern Turkey. — The Lines of the Twelve Philosophers, which may be related to XII scripta
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
Etymologiae known as the Origines and abbreviated Orig. is an etymological encyclopedia compiled by Isidore of Seville towards the end of his life. Isidore was encouraged to write the book by his friend Bishop of Saragossa; the Etymologies organized a wealth of knowledge from hundreds of classical sources. Isidore acknowledges Pliny, but not his other principal sources, namely Cassiodorus and Solinus; the work contains whatever an influential Christian bishop, thought worth keeping. Its subject matter is diverse, ranging from grammar and rhetoric to the earth and the cosmos, metals, ships, animals, law and the hierarchies of angels and saints. Etymologiae covers an encyclopedic range of topics. Etymology, the origins of words, is prominent, but the work covers among other things grammar, mathematics, music, medicine, the Roman Catholic Church and heretical sects, pagan philosophers, cities and birds, the physical world, public buildings, metals, agriculture, clothes and tools. Etymologiae was the most used textbook throughout the Middle Ages.
It was so popular that it was read in place of many of the original classical texts that it summarized, so these ceased to be copied and were lost. It was cited by Dante Alighieri, who placed Isidore in his Paradiso, quoted by Geoffrey Chaucer, mentioned by the poets Boccaccio and John Gower. Among the thousand-odd surviving manuscript copies is the 13th-century Codex Gigas. Etymologiae was printed in at least ten editions between 1472 and 1530, after which its importance faded in the Renaissance; the first scholarly edition was printed in Madrid in 1599. Etymologiae is less well known in modern times, though the Vatican considered naming its author Isidore the patron saint of the Internet. Scholars recognize its importance both for its preservation of classical texts and for the insight it offers into the medieval mindset. Isidore of Seville was born around 560 in Spain, under the unstable rule of the Visigoths after the collapse of the Roman empire, his older brother, the abbot of a Seville monastery, supervised Isidore's education in the school attached to his monastery.
Leander was a powerful priest, a friend of Pope Gregory, he became bishop of Seville. Leander made friends with the Visigothic king's sons and Reccared. In 586, Reccared became king, in 587 under Leander's religious direction he became a Catholic, controlling the choice of bishops. Reccared died not long after appointing Isidore as bishop of Seville. Isidore helped to unify the kingdom through Christianity and education, eradicating the Arian heresy, widespread, led National Councils at Toledo and Seville. Isidore had a close friendship with king Sisebut, who came to the throne in 612, with another Seville churchman, who became bishop of Saragossa. Isidore was read in Latin with a little Greek and Hebrew, he was familiar with the works of both the church fathers and pagan writers such as Martial and Pliny the Elder, this last the author of the major encyclopaedia in existence, the Natural History. The classical encyclopedists had introduced alphabetic ordering of topics, a literary rather than observational approach to knowledge: Isidore followed those traditions.
Isidore became well known in his lifetime as a scholar. He started to put together a collection of his knowledge, the Etymologies, in about 600, continued to write until about 625. Etymologiae presents in abbreviated form much of that part of the learning of antiquity that Christians thought worth preserving. Etymologies very far-fetched, form the subject of just one of the encyclopedia's twenty books, but perceived linguistic similarities permeate the work. An idea of the quality of Isidore's etymological knowledge is given by Peter Jones: "Now we know most of his derivations are total nonsense". Isidore's vast encyclopedia of ancient learning includes subjects from theology to furniture, provided a rich source of classical lore and learning for medieval writers. In his works including the Etymologiae, Isidore quotes from around 475 works from over 200 authors. Bishop Braulio, to whom Isidore dedicated it and sent it for correction, divided it into its twenty books. An analysis by Jacques André of Book XII shows it contains 58 quotations from named authors and 293 borrowed but uncited usages: 79 from Solinus.
Isidore takes care to name classical and Christian scholars whose material he uses in descending order of frequency, Jerome, Plato, Donatus, Augustine and Josephus. He mentions as the Christians Origen and Augustine, but his translator Stephen Barney notes as remarkable that he never names the compilers of the encyclopedias that he used "at second or third hand", Aulus Gellius, Nonius Marcellus, Lactantius and Martianus Capella. Barney further notes as "most striking" that Isidore never mentions three out of his four principal sources: Cassiodorus and Sol
Acey-deucey is a variant of backgammon. Since World War I, it has been a favorite game of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine; some evidence shows that it was played in the early 1900s aboard U. S. Navy ships; the game is believed to be rooted in the Middle East, Greece, or Turkey, where there were variants in which the game started with pieces off the board. Kenny Lutz is the current champion of the world, resides in San Jose, California. Compared to standard backgammon, acey-deucey is more like a race than a strategy game, it features a differing starting position, opening play, rules for the endgame. Because pieces may be retained in one's opponent's home board, the game offers substantial opportunities for backgame play. Acey-deucey is deliberately riding with one stirrup shorter than the other, it is most seen in racing, where a jockey will lengthen the inside stirrup – some riders believe this helps them. The components of acey-deucey match those of backgammon, including identical boards, number of pieces, dice.
Unlike standard backgammon, all of both players' pieces are off the board. Acey-deucey does not use the doubling cube; the initial play is markedly different from that of standard backgammon. Pieces are entered onto the opponent's inner board. Once a piece has been entered, it can be moved though other pieces haven't been entered. One strategy in the game is to keep one man, called an "Oscar", off the board until it is needed for defensive purposes. Play passes forth, with each player rolling both dice. A player who rolls doubles may move a total of four times, each move traversing as many spaces as the rolled amount. After rolling these doubles, the player takes another turn. If a player rolls an acey-deucey, he plays the 1-and-2. After the opening, gameplay is nearly identical to that of backgammon, with some notable differences: After rolling and playing doubles or acey-deucey, the player must roll and move again. A roll of acey-deucey counts as a 1-2, as doubles of the player's choice. Upon reaching one's own home board, a piece may not be moved again.
An exact roll is required to bear off. A player can move pieces if he has pieces on the bar; the terminology of acey-deucey is somewhat different from that of backgammon. The initial rolling of one die is called the piddle; the bar is the fence, a single man is kicked rather than hit. The opponent's inner table is called the entering table or starting quarter, one's own inner table is the finishing quarter. Variants of the above rules exist that make the game more restrictive. Upon rolling acey-deucey, the player does not choose the doubles for their next move. Instead, they roll one use that number for the doubles choice. If a player rolls acey-deucey but is unable to utilize both the 1 and 2, their turn ends, they do not get any doubles, they do not get another roll. If a player rolls doubles but is unable to utilize all 4 moves, their turn ends, they do not get another roll. This rule holds for doubles following an acey-deucey. Pieces may be moved inside one's home area until all other pieces have arrived.
This is the opposite from the description above. Once all pieces have arrived to the player's home area, they may not move any more. Unlike regular backgammon, players may only bear off pieces that match the dice roll. For instance, if the 6 and 5 points are open and the player rolls a 6-5, they may not use that roll to bear off a checker from the 4-point. Pieces may be only moved from the bar upon rolling doubles; the ability to take extra rolls for doubles and acey-deucey during bearing off have the same rules stated above. If a player rolls an acey-deucey but cannot bear off a checker from both the 1-point and the 2-point, they are not entitled to a roll for doubles or another turn. If a player rolls a 6-6 and only has three checkers on their 6-point to bear off, they may not take another turn. At the beginning of the game, no checker may be put into play. In other words, a player may not enter a checker without first rolling a double. After the initial double, any checker may be entered as per the player's preference
Royal Game of Ur
The Royal Game of Ur known as the Game of Twenty Squares or the Game of Ur, is a two-player strategy race board game, first played in ancient Mesopotamia during the early third millennium BC. The game was popular across the Middle East among people of all social strata and boards for playing it have been found at locations as far away from Mesopotamia as Crete and Sri Lanka. At the height of its popularity, the game acquired spiritual significance, events in the game were believed to reflect a player's future and convey messages from deities or other supernatural beings; the Game of Ur remained popular until late antiquity, when it stopped being played evolving into, or being displaced by, an early form of backgammon. It was forgotten everywhere except among the Jewish population of the Indian city of Kochi, who continued playing a version of it until the 1950s when they began emigrating to Israel; the Game of Ur received its name because it was first rediscovered by the English archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley during his excavations of the Royal Cemetery at Ur between 1922 and 1934.
Copies of the game have since been found by other archaeologists across the Middle East. The rules of the Game of Ur as it was played in the second century BC have been preserved on a Babylonian clay tablet written by the scribe Itti-Marduk-balāṭu. Based on this tablet and the shape of the gameboard, British Museum curator Irving Finkel reconstructed the basic rules of how the game might have been played; the object of the game is to run the course of the board and bear all one's pieces off before one's opponent. Like modern backgammon, the game combines elements of both luck; the Game of Ur was popular across the Middle East and boards for it have been found in Iran, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Crete. Four gameboards bearing a close resemblance to the Royal Game of Ur were found in the funeral chamber of the Tomb of Tutankhamun; these boards came with small boxes to store dice and game pieces and many had senet boards on the reverse sides so that the same board could be used to play either game and had to be flipped over.
The game was popular among all social classes. A graffito version of the game carved with a sharp object a dagger, was discovered on one of the human-headed winged bull gate sentinels from the palace of Sargon II in the city of Khorsabad; the Game of Ur acquired superstitious significance and the tablet of Itti-Marduk-balāṭu provides vague predictions for the players' futures if they land on certain spaces, such as "You will find a friend", "You will become powerful like a lion", or "You will draw fine beer". People saw relationships between a player's success in his or her success in real life. Random events such as landing on a certain square were interpreted as messages from deities, ghosts of deceased ancestors, or from a person's own soul, it is unclear. One theory holds. At some point before the game fell out of popularity in the Middle East, it was introduced to the Indian city of Kochi by a group of Jewish merchants. Members of the Jewish population of Kochi were still playing a recognizable form of the Game of Ur by the time they started emigrating to Israel in the 1950s after World War II.
The Kochi version of the game had twenty squares, just like the original Mesopotamian version, but each player had twelve pieces rather than seven and the placement of the twenty squares was different. The British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley discovered five gameboards of the Game of Ur during his excavation of the Royal Cemetery at Ur between 1922 and 1934; because the game was first discovered in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, it became known as the "Royal Game of Ur", but archaeologists uncovered other copies of the game from other locations across the Middle East. Each of the boards discovered by Wooley date to around 3000 BC. All five boards were of an identical type, but they were made of different materials and had different decorations. Woolley reproduced images of two of these boards in The First Phases. One of these is a simple set with a background composed of discs of shell with blue or red centers set in wood-covered bitumen; the other is a more elaborate one covered with shell plaques, inlaid with red limestone and lapis lazuli.
Other gameboards are engraved with images of animals. When the Game of Ur was first discovered, no one knew. In the early 1980s, Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, translated a clay tablet written c. 177 BC by the Babylonian scribe Itti-Marduk-balāṭu describing how the game was played during that time period, based on an earlier description of the rules by another scribe named Iddin-Bēl. This tablet was written during the waning days of Babylonian civilization, long after the time when the Game of Ur was first played, it had been sold to the British Museum. Finkel used photographs of another tablet describing the rules, in the personal collection of Count Aymar de Liedekerke-Beaufort, but had been destroyed during World War I; this second tablet was undated, but is believed by archaeologists to have been written several centuries earlier than the tablet by Itti-Marduk-balāṭu and to have originated from the city of Uruk. The backs of both tablets show diagrams of the gameboard indicating which game they are describing.
Based on these rules and the shape of the gameboard, Finkel was able to