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Playing Piece

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Senet (the passing) was one of the most popular and enduring board games in ancient Egypt. Players moved their gaming pieces along a rectangular board of thirty squares arranged in three parallel rows. Although this blue glazed faience board resembles the traditional senet playing surface, it has only twenty-one squares. Perhaps it was intended as a funerary offering that merely represented a senet board. Although the board and “pawns” displayed here may have formed a set, they could have been assembled from several sources.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938–1700 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12 to early Dynasty 13
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 1 1/8 x Diam. 11/16 in. (2.9 x 1.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; by 1934, acquired by the Scheurleer Museum, the Hague, the Netherlands; 1936, purchased from the Scheurleer Museum by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Playing Piece, ca. 1938–1700 B.C.E. Faience, 1 1/8 x Diam. 11/16 in. (2.9 x 1.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.3.7. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.3.7_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 36.3.7_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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