Petra, Capital City of the Nabateans Header
PETRA
 
Arriving at Petra
 
The Walk Into Petra
 
The Siq
 
The Small Siq
 
Treasury
 
Street of Facades
 
Water Works
 
The Theater
 
The Royal Tombs
 
High Place
 
Colonnade Street
 
Great Temple
 
Temple of Al Uzza
 
Temple of Dushares
 
The Museum 
 
The Dier 
 
Al Habis
 
Um Al-Biera
 
Jebal Haroun
 
City of Board Games
 
Snake Monument
 
Sabara Suburb
 
City Walls/Map
 
Al Beidha
 
Al Beidha Village
 
Churches
 
Kubtha High Place
 
Wadi Nmeir 
 
Small Delights
 
The Bedul
 
Petra Today 
 
Petra Park
 
Is Petra the
Holy City of Islam?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Petra: City of Board Games

At the Second Annual Conference for Nabataean Studies, Dr. Bilal Khrisat of the Hashemite University, presented a paper that introduced the conference to the various board games that are found in ancient Petra. That paper was also responsible for introducing Nabataea.net to this fascinating aspect about Petra. In response to Dr. Khrisat's studies we have started to search through Petra and other Nabataean sites to discover these games, and to try and find what they were and how they were played. In order to do this, we first did some basic research into ancient games, so we would be better informed about what we might find. Second, we rounded up several Nabataea.net activists and made a sweeping tour of Petra. Instead of looking up at the marvelous monuments, we kept our heads down, and scoured the ground. It was an exciting visit to Petra, because game boards started popping up all over the place. Third, we then visited other Nabataean sites to look for board games there. Fourth, we solicited the help of folk at CanBook's game division. Kenneth Betts, the game logistics expert then worked hard at trying to reconcile the game boards we found with what is known about ancient games, to see if we could figure out how they might have been played. Lastly, the results have been written up in a paper titled: Ancient Board Games and the Nabataeans.

Below are pictures of some of the game board that we discovered.

4 X 14 board
One of the many game boards in Petra. It appears that this board is 4 holes by 14 holes. For size, note the pop bottle cap above the board. This board is easy to locate. It is on the rocks behind the first row of small shops as one walks from the parking lot to the Government Resthouse.
a faded baod

Dr. Bilal Khrisat of the Hashemite University has his degree in Geoarcheology and confirms that these boards are from antiquity, and not recently made by Bedouin shepherds. 

Left: Some of the boards are very worn and hard to make out.

Perhaps a 7 X 7 board

 

Still behind the shops between the parking lot and Jeff's Book Shop
(Is this a 7x7 Seega board, with the top being weathered away?)
What is this?
 
OK, did someone start something and not end it?
Behind Jeff's Bookstore This one was located almost directly behind Jeff's Book Shop near the hotel. (4 x 10 plus 3 or 4 on the bottom?)

Behind Jeff's Bookstore

 

This one was near the entrance to the hotel behind Jeff's Book Shop. (4 X 12)
strange board near the Oblysk Tomb Above, and the next four pictures: Found along the right side of the path, near the Jinn Rocks and Obelisk Tomb (7 x 8+?)

2 boards side by side
4 X 12 beside what might possibly be a Mancala 2 X 8, or is it 3 rows wide? That's the problem with these weathered game boards.
8 X 14 board 8 x 14? or is it two of the very commong 4 x 14 Nabataean boards side by side.
4 X 10 board 4 X 10? (These were all found along the right side of the path as one walks into Petra, before and around the Djinn Blocks)

Near the dam

 

The game board above is located to the left of the path, just as you cross the dam at the entrance to the siq. There are steps up to it from the front, but it is approachable from the rear, if you pass between the rocks behind the bench. (7x7 Seega Board?)

 Near the Urn Tomb  This board is located on the rocks to the right of the Urn Tomb. It almost overlooks the theater. (4 x 12?)

 Faded board

 

This faded board can be found on top of the same mountain as Robinson's High Place. After viewing the High Place, continue along the mountain towards the the look out point, that looks down onto the Colonnade Street. Near the lookout point you can find this board.

 4x12 board This 4 X 12 game board can be found on a small rock hill infront of the Monastery. (Deir). It is quite sharp, and is either well preserved, (it is in a sheltered location) or quite recent.
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