hist-games: Indian War-games]

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Fri Nov 11 05:32:14 PST 2005

Den 2005-11-11 13:09:01 skrev Pat Smith <patsmith at dnaco.net>:

> When they disassembled and moved the temples at High Aswan to keep them
> from being flooded, a grad student recorded all the enscriptons on the
> stone faces that had not been exposed to view since the temples were
> built around 1400 BC. If an enscription doesn't match one of those
> preserved enscriptions, (there were thousands) it is presumed to be of a
> later period.  There have been a couple other instances since then when
> ancient structures have been disturbed for one reason or another, and
> surfaces not previously exposed have come to light, at least
> temporarily. Inevitably, markings of one sort or another will be exposed
> when this happens, and the archeologists can build a reference chart for
> dating based on the design  and style of the markings, and the known
> dates when the structures were built. The doctorial thesis that come
> from these instances ca make invaluable reading, although I would not
> actually advocate having an earthquake level a 2500 year old temple just
> to read the graffiti on the underside of the stones. Still, when it
> happens I'm glad someone is recording what the long-ago stone masons
> left for us to find.
> Pat Smith

Everybody seems to give quite mundane explanations for these game
patterns, whether in Indian or Egyptian temples. But I will argue that
these games were inscribed there as allurement for the spirits and the
gods. Just like the gods "gathered like flies" around the burnt
offering, they also gathered around the board game. After all, board
games are "food for the spirit." Have anybody visited a chess club and
watched how people are crowding around an interesting game? They are
like flies around a sugar lump.

In Aztec mythology the spirits of the dead were playing an Aztec board
game (whatever it was called). In a dream of a modern woman (recounted
in some of M-L v. Franz's books) the dead were always playing Halma.
It was only at big occurrences down on earth that they lifted their
eyes from the board and curiously looked down on earth.

So the ancients wanted to provide food for the spirits to make them come
down and visit the temple, which is a place where the living met with
the spirits. How about this?


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