Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Mancala at the pyramids of Meroe

  • Alex de Voogt (a1)
Extract

Game-boards carved on monuments offer an intriguing opportunity to track a certain mindset in time and space. In an earlier Antiquity article, the author showed us that mancala boards were carved on the Roman plinths at Palmyra by Arab soldiers. Here he takes us into Sudan, finding new mancala boards on the first-millennium pyramids at Meroe. With adroit detective work, he shows that these too are probably owed to military visitors, this time a group of nineteenth-century Turkish soldiers of the Ottoman empire—perhaps those assigned to help Giuseppe Ferlini to blow up and pillage the tombs.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Azim, M. 1975. Quatre campagnes de fouilles sur la Forteresse de Saï, 1970-1973 1ère partie: l'installation pharaonique. Études sur l'Égypte et le Soudan anciens. Cahier de Recherches de l'Institut de Papyrologie et d'Égyptologie de Lille 3: 91125.
Bjørkelo, A.J. 2003. Prelude to the Mahdiyya: peasants and traders in the Shendi region, 1821-1885. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cailliaud, F. 1823. Voyage à Méroé et au Fleuve Blanc, au-delà du Fâzoql dans le midi du royaume de Sennâr, à Syouah et dans cinq autres oasis fait dans les années 1819, 1821, et 1822. Paris: Imprimerie Royale.
Chapman, S. & Dunham, D.. 1952. The royal cemeteries of Kush. Volume 3. Decorated chapels of the Meroitic pyramids at Meroë and Barkal. Boston (MA): Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. 2009. Africa and the Africans in the nineteenth century: a turbulent history. Armonk (NY): M.E. Sharpe.
Davies, R. 1925. Some Arab games and puzzles. Sudan Notes and Records 8: 137-52.
Depaulis, T. 2001. Jeux de parcours du monde arabo-musulman (Afrique du Nord et Proche-Orient). Journal of Board Game Studies 4: 5376.
Hinkel, F.W. 1986. Reconstruction work at the royal cemetery at Meroe, in Krause, M. (ed.) Nubische Studien: Tagungsakten der 5. Internationalen Konferenz der International Society for Nubian Studies, Heidelberg, 22.-25. September 1982: 99108. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.
Hinkel, F.W. & Yellin, J.W.. Forthcoming. The necropolises of Kush I.1, 2. Meroe. The Southern Royal Cemetery. Berlin: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
Mulvin, L. & Sidebotham, S.E.. 2004. Roman game boards from Abu Sha'ar (Red Sea coast, Egypt). Antiquity 78: 602-17.
Salam Sidahmed, A. & Sidahmed, A.. 2005. Sudan. London: Routledge.
Sayyid-Marsot, A.L. 1984. Egypt in the reign of Muhammad Ali. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schädler, U. 1998. Mancala in Roman Asia Minor. Journal of Board Games Studies 1: 1025.
Trigger, B.G. 1969. The myth of Meroe and the African Iron Age. African Historical Studies 2(1): 3350.
De Voogt, A.J. 2010. Mancala players in Palmyra. Antiquity 84: 1055-66.
De Voogt, A.J. In press. Game boards and game pieces in the Kingdom of Kush: tokens of cultural contact and influence, in Zach, M. (ed.) Beiträge zur Sudanforschung. The Kushite world. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference for Meroitic Studies, Vienna, 1-4 September 2008. Vienna: Institut für Afrikanistik, Abteilung Sudanforschung.
Welsby, D.A. 1998. The Kingdom of Kush: the Napatan and Meroitic empires. Princeton (NJ): Markus Wiener.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed