Disc decorated with lions and gazelles - ROM2018_16165_86


Disc decorated with lions and gazelles

Geography: Undetermined site, Upper Egypt
Date: c. 3100-2890 BC
Period: Protodynastic or 1st Dynasty, Early Dynastic Period
2.2 x 2.2 x 10.8 cm
Object number: 909.80.44
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt
Description This broken disk, with two donkeys and one lion remaining from its decoration, may originally have been part of a game. A set of forty-four similar disks was found at Sakkara in the tomb of a powerful First Dynasty courtier named Hemaka.  Hemaka’s disks were made of many different materials, including various stones, copper, ivory, and wood.  They were found in a decayed wooden box together with small sticks that were used as 'dice'. Walter Emery, the excavator of Hemaka’s tomb, suggested that the disks and sticks formed part of a game whose rules and play have been lost to time.  Our disk is worn as well as broken, thicker, and not of as fine a quality as the Sakkara set, but may have come from a similar set of game pieces.

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