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6.13.2005 

the game of kings


Backgammon is the oldest recorded game in the world, believed to have originated in Mesopotamia. The game was played on etched or painted wooden boards with polished stone pieces, and dice carved from bone, wood, or pottery. It is believed to have derived from the ancient Egyptian game of Senet.

Senet was a game which Egyptian kings played to prepare themselves for the afterlife. It was believed that upon death, one would have to face the God Thot in a game of Senet. Thot would then judge the dead on the basis of sin or good action while playing. Carved game sets were buried with the later Egyptian kings, a talisman for gaining Thot's blessing in the afterlife.

Always associated with royalty and nobility, backgammon encourages a player to develop through adversity, while teaching strategy & tactics. The English version of the name comes from the "back game", where stones taken off the board are re-entered into play. The Italian and Persian words for Backgammon come from the native word for "table", which is the customary place to play the game.

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