Life in Turkey

The Mystery Of The 5,000-Year-Old Stone Game Cannot Be Solved

The Mystery Of The 5,000-Year-Old Stone Game Cannot Be Solved

The 5,000-year-old 39 stone game unearthed during the excavations started in 2013 at Başur Höyük in Siirt preserves its mystery. It is thought that the game, which is thought to be a mind game, may be the ancestor of chess.

In a tomb unearthed in 2013 as part of the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in Başur Höyük, 20 kilometers northwest of Siirt, approximately 5,000-year-old game stones from the Early Bronze Age were found.

The last of the stones with figures such as dogs and pigs were unearthed during excavations in 2019. A total of 39 stones were taken under protection in the Batman Museum. While it is thought that the stones are used for hunting, racing or intelligence games played with 2 people, how it is played still remains a mystery.

Stone Game

Archaeologist Abdurrahman Demir from the Batman Museum, who was involved in the excavations at that time, said, “In 2013, we encountered artifacts for the first time as tomb finds. Then in 2019 we found the last piece, the pig. When we make a comparison in the light of similar studies, the presence of 4 pigs, 4 dogs, eye-shaped, pyramidal stones and bullet-like stones shows that this is already a mind game.”

Stone Game


It is debatable whether we can call it a purely intelligence game. It can be a hunting game, a racing game or an intelligence game,” said Demir, adding, “It may not be wrong to say that it is the ancestor of chess. Works done in 2019. Of course, after all, we do not know under what conditions and in what way the game was played, since we also excavate.”

Stone Game


Stating that the people of Başur produce art with the game stones they find, Demir said, “The game stones were found in the BC. It has a history of 5 thousand years in total, between 3100 and 2900 years. It is one of the important works of the Early Bronze Age. During the excavations carried out by the Batman Museum Directorate, Assoc. Dr. It appeared in the works of Haluk Sağlamtimur. Although it is not known for what purpose these stones were made, there are researches on this subject both in the country and abroad. Both articles and thesis studies on this subject continue. It will be published in the future,” he said.

Stone Game

“The pieces are very interesting. Rather than being related to the game, we can easily see that the people of that period reflected their surroundings on the pieces. For example, when we look at any chess game, we can see the same thing. The horse, rook and pawn in chess. These game pieces unearthed from Başur Höyük are 39 in total. 2 people It is thought that it was played with.

Stone Game

Gül Demirci

Hi, I'm Gul. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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