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OK, so we won't be playing this game at our next board game night, but it's still interesting to read about.

The Impossible Task of Reconstructing the Rules to an Ancient Board Game

For hundreds of years, the two-chambered tomb of a fourth-century Germanic chieftain lay undisturbed in Poprad, Slovakia’s 10th largest city. Then, in 2005, construction began on a new industrial park and the grave was revealed. Archaeologists found a wealth of treasures, including wooden furniture, pottery, an ancient bucket, and half of the skeleton of its occupant. It was an interesting find, if not too unusual, bar a mysterious wooden playing board. It was carved with a chess-like grid—17 by 18 squares—and came with a handful of black and white counters in different sizes. [...]

“Imagine you find a Monopoly board and a handful of street cards plus one little tin hat and a little tin shoe, nothing else, and no trace of something similar in the written sources,” he says. “It is absurd to think one might ever be able to reconstruct the Monopoly rules in all their details.” The rules to any game—chess, rummy, Ticket to Ride—are rife with details that might not be apparent from looking at the pieces, cards, or boards themselves. After all, there’s only so much one can surmise from a little tin hat, a tiny rampart, or an ace of spades. [...]

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