The game of senet is one of the oldest games know to history. It was invented approximately 5,000 years ago. Senet was not just a game for one class. The game was played by both peasants and royalty. In fact, four brand new ivory and ebony senet games were found buried with King Tut. The game started out as more of a leisurely activity. However, during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (1498 BC) it turned into a more religious game. In fact, some depictions from that time period suggest that the game was actually not played by two players, but instead played by a deceased player and an invisible competitor. It is interpreted that the invisible competitor is in fact the player’s soul. The board has turned into a metaphor for the afterlife. As you continue through the game it is thought that the soul is actually moving through the layers of the underworld. Moving off the board is the goal of the game. Essentially it means reaching Horus and leaving the underworld. As was the goal of the Egyptians after they passed away.
The original rules of this ancient game were lost. However, archeologists have studied the senet board as well as other ancient texts and have been able to piece together several possible ways to be able to play this Egyptian game. There are many rules that go with this game, but there are also many variations on these rules. The senet board game has three rows of ten squares. The game is played in a backwards S formation. On the fifteenth square of the board, there is an ankh; this represents The House of Rebirth. On the twenty-sixth square there is a circle. The circle represents the beautiful place also known as the funeral parlor. When playing this game, you must stop on this square. To stop on this square you must throw the exact number that you need to reach the square. One square twenty-seven, there are two wavy lines that mean The House of Waters. The House of Waters represents the Nile and the Lake of Truth. That is...
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