Mehen (game)

From Academic Kids

Mehen is a board game played in ancient Egypt known by the name Mehen, a serpent god protecting Ra during his night-time underworld journey.

The Equipment

There is a board depicting a coiled snake. The body of the snake is divided into rectangular spaces. There are a variety of known boards with varying numbers of segments, but they lack distinguishing marks or ornamentation. There are three lions, three lionesses, and small spheres associated with each.

Rules of Play

The actual rules and methods for playing Mehen are unknown. There is no known surviving documentation. What is known about the game (namely that it is a game) is derived from studying the equipment and paintings found in tombs. The pieces that have survived do not even appear to fit within the spaces on the playing board, further deepening the mystery.

History of the Game

Evidence of Mehen is found dating from approximately 3000 BC and continues until 2300 BC, then does not reappear until 700 BC. Some of the best evidence appears during the Old Kingdom, in a picture in the tomb of Hesy-Ra.

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