Draughts in Ancient Egypt

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Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby liam stephens on Wed May 19, 2010 5:50 pm

Otago Witness 25/02/1887

Article reprinted from the Manchester Weekly Post


AN ANCIENT DRAUGHT PLAYER

The “finds” of Egypt have often a special as well as a wide-world significance. The special historic interest as far as this column is concerned must give the palm to the extinct and embalmed Pharaoh, Rameses III of the twentieth Egyptian dynasty, who is supposed to have lived and enjoyed life some 1200 years before the Christian era, and who was disinterred at the village of Bulak, a well known suburb of Cairo, in the presence of the Khedive and his Ministers, the Turkish Prime Minister (Mukhtar Pacha), Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, and other notables. The occasion must have been to the Khedive one of unusual importance, as the circumstance would at once confront him with an historic ancester of 3000 years ago. Our reflections can hardly take from here, or we might picture to ourselves the political and social conditions of Egypt during his dynasty, as it is affirmed with a considerable show of reason that he was a near descendant, possibly a son, of the celebrated Pharoah of holy writ.
The art of embalming, which the Egyptians knew so well how to give effect to, has preserved this human frame in his sarcophagus safely for 3000 years, and with its unearthing the story of national events and details of his life, written on imperishable tablets of stone, has been brought to view.
The chamber of death has been carefully laid bare by competent hands, and we see his deeds recorded on the walls; his enemies trampled under his feet; shooting others with arrows in the fiercest of the battles; dragging his fallen foes after his conquering chariot; and caressed, perfumed, and fanned by his attendant females. Then in another sculpture we see him enjoying his spare time in playing draughts with a favourite. What game he is playing will ever remain a conundrum, as no record of any of Rameses problems has come down to us. We fancy, however that Wyllie or Martins , Smith or Jackson, Gardener or Strickland would make short work of him. We shall not attempt to find out what games were in vogue at that ancient time, but we are not without hope that something may yet be discovered to throw a ray of light upon the method then in fashion. Egypt is the cradle of much that has baffled the wisest of moderns, and we may, after this, safely conclude that the game of draughts was played in the land of the Nile when the Western Nations had not emerged out of Barbarism.
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Re: Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby john reade on Thu May 20, 2010 1:19 am

Liam, Do you know who the author is? John.
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Re: Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby liam stephens on Thu May 20, 2010 2:24 pm

Author unattributed, possibly Alan Hynd ? (of the Great Divide fame).

Could be verified:
The Manchester Weekly Post 1875 - 1887 is on microfilm at the
Manchester Archives and Local Studies microfilm unit.
However, the library is temporarily closed at present.

Use your local libraries !, they are a valuable resource.
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Re: Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby john reade on Thu May 20, 2010 2:44 pm

What is the connection with the Otago Witness? Otago is a district of New Zealand!
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Re: Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby Jay H on Thu May 20, 2010 3:43 pm

JohnAcker wrote:Apparently the Otago Witness had a regular draughts column: Gould's Problems references it in the notes to Problem #869, citing "a correspondent signing himself W.G." presumably in the early 1880s.


Otago Witness had an excellent column...check out this link...sent to me courtesy of Mr. Stephen Wright.
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=p&p=terms&e=-------10--1----0-all

Hit the search engine with Draughts.....


Regards

Jay H
Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam !!!
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Re: Draughts in Ancient Egypt

Postby liam stephens on Thu May 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Well spotted Jay.
The draughts column appears to have started in 1877. I have been slowly going through them and have currently reached June 1887.
Lots of interesting material.

Regards - Liam.
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