Traditional Board Games

Royal Game of Ur / Egyptian Senet: Two Ancient Middle Eastern board games in one set; Decorative Box & Pieces, handcrafted - MADE TO ORDER

$325.00

  • Details
    Own a piece of gaming history with this stunning and elegant game set, featuring the Mesopotamian Royal Game of Ur and ancient Egyptian Senet. Featuring stylized thematic artwork from both cultures, and designed to resemble an ancient sarcophagus, this game set is sure to be not only a beautiful decorative piece, but a great pastime as well. This handcrafted wooden set of racing games can be both intriguing and challenging, and will make an excellent addition to an avid gamer's collection as well as a great way to enjoy some quality time with family and friends. The board(s) and accompanying storage box/stand feature historically and culturally-inspired artwork, and is created as a functional piece of art, sure to bring enjoyment to many generations.

    This game is MADE TO ORDER, with a production time of 3-4 weeks - the pictures presented are of previously completed orders and are for example only. Your board shall be created with the featured artwork as a basis, in addition to your specifications and/or requests. Each set created will be unique from the next!

    DESCRIPTION:
    • Double-sided game board made from 3/4-inch thick maple wood; the storage box/stand is also created from maple, with stout 1/2-inch walls. Rare earth magnets keep the board in place atop the stand during game play of either game. The interior of the box is felted.
    • All artwork is achieved through the use of pyrography (the art of wood-burning by hand). Specific details are accented with a vibrant color stain to enhance the overall look. A satin lacquer is applied last to protect the board surface and seal in the carbonized artwork details.
    • Artwork is as depicted, but will naturally vary from set to set, due to wood variances and the inherent trait of handcrafted work. Typically, the motifs will represent the two cultures of the games included in the set. Customers may request changes and alternatives to any of the motifs shown.
    • Board measurements are 12x6-inches; the box is also 12x6-inches, and stands 3-inches high (with the game board in place atop it).
    • Playing pieces (16 pawns for Senet, 16 checkers for Ur, 4 casting sticks, and 4 binary pyramidal dice) are included. The pawns and checkers will be stained in two colors in complement to the board(s); the checkers will have the traditional dot markings of '1' and '5' on the opposing sides of each.
    • Further customization can be done by specific request; please contact me so that we may discuss the details.

    HISTORY / HOW TO PLAY:
    • Senet is one of the oldest known and documented board games. Fragmentary boards that could be Senet have been found in First Dynasty burials in Egypt, circa 3100 BC. A hieroglyph resembling a Senet board appears in the tomb of Merknera (3300-2700 BC). The first unequivocal painting of this ancient game is from the Third Dynasty tomb of Hesy (2686-2613 BC). People are depicted playing Senet in a painting in the tomb of Rashepes, as well as from other tombs of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (circa 2500 BC). The oldest intact Senet boards date to the Middle Kingdom (2050-1550 BC). Senet was also played by people in the neighboring cultures, and it probably came to those places through trade relationships between Egyptians and the surrounding peoples. Partial and complete tablets carved with it's grid and markings have been found at sites such as Arad and Byblos, as well as in Cyprus. Because of the local practice of making games out of stone, there are more Senet games that have been found in Cyprus than have been found in Egypt.
    • The Royal Game of Ur (or simply Game of Ur), was popular across the Middle East; game boards have been found in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Crete, and even as far as Sri Lanka. Four game boards bearing a very close resemblance to the Game of Ur were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. These boards came with small boxes to store the dice and game pieces and some had Senet boards on the reverse sides. The game was popular among all social classes, though it was popularly known as a game for the nobility and upper classes; skill in the game was a revered aspect, particularly in the Mesopotamian societies.

    • A game of Senet begins with 5 pieces or pawns from each player being placed alternating on squares 1-10 of the board (these squares are furthest from the marked 'reward' squares). Casting sticks, colored on one side and plain on the other, are used to determine movement; moving from square 10 to square 11 and onward in a zig-zag pattern along the remainder of the game grid, always crossing onto the next row at the ends. Landing on a square containing an opponent's piece is considered an attack, and the pieces are exchanged. There are squares that are considered safe for any piece residing on them, as well as a space that is considered a trap. Three or more pawns in a line is considered a blockade, and no opponent piece may pass. Pieces landing on the last square (30) remain until the start of that player's next turn; if that player has no pieces on the starting line (1-10), then at that time, the piece can be removed. The object is to move all five pieces off the board in this way before your opponent.
    • The Game of Ur is played using two sets of seven game pieces. The game board is composed of two rectangular sets of boxes, one containing three rows of four boxes each and the other containing three rows of two boxes each, joined together by a narrow bridge of two boxes. The game play involves elements of both luck and strategy. The object of the game is for a player to move all seven of their pieces along the course and off the board before their opponent. There can never be more than one piece on a single square at any given time, so having too many pieces on the board at once can impede a player's mobility. Movements are determined by rolling a set of pyramidal dice; other versions use binary-colored casting sticks. The number of marked or colored ends facing upwards after a roll or throw indicates how many spaces a player may move during that turn. In order to 'escape' the board, a perfect throw, relative to the moving piece's position, is necessary.
    • A rules pamphlet with rules for both games is included with the game.

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  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    3-4 weeks

    Estimated shipping times

    • North America : 3 - 5 business days

    I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

    Customs and import taxes

    Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

    Payment Options

    Secure options
    • Accepts Etsy gift cards

    Returns & Exchanges

    I gladly accept returns and exchanges

    Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

    Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

    I don't accept cancellations

    But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

    The following items can't be returned or exchanged

    Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

    • Custom or personalized orders
    • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
    • Digital downloads
    • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
    • Items on sale

    Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wholesale availability

    Due to the nature of the majority of my work, and the typical amount of business that comes through my shop, wholesale items are not available.

    Custom and personalized orders

    Please contact me before placing an order should you desire customizations not outlined or offered in any particular listing.

    Holiday ordering

    During the Christmas holiday season, I can quickly become VERY busy; typically putting in 12 hour days in order to make holiday shipping deadlines.
    Please plan ahead - I begin taking Christmas orders in late August, but due to workload, I will close the shop to further made-to-order requests the first week of December. Ready to ship items remain listed and ship as stated in their listing.

    Shipping times

    In the case of any custom or Made To Order item, I try very hard to meet the listed production/ship time for the listed item. However, I am a one-man shop, and the handcrafted nature of the work, particularly during busy periods, can cause delays. If you require your item by a specific date, please inquire first. I do not rush the work, as I want each piece to be exceptional and worthy to the person purchasing it. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and of course, your patronage!