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Senet

Culturalmente Imparando

Senet is a really ancient board game traces of which lead back to IV millennium B.C. Firstly it was played only by upper classes, around 1500 B.C. it is spreading among the population, becoming one of the main hobbies of the ancient Egyptians. Probabibly it is at this point that the game takes a religious meaning. In fact it was believed that was Thot, the wisdom, magic, scripture and time god, who has created it. Maybe to the time aspect is linked the belief about the result of a match. The challenge was not only against his enemy, but also with the invisible and powerfull fate. The result of the match could predict the fate of your soul. In fact senet means "passage", that is as the passage from the earth life to that in afterlife. To allow also to deceased to challenge his destiny some games were put in the tombs, as in Tutankhamon one, where various types have been found. An other famous witness is the image into the Queen Nefertari grave, meanwhile she plays senet with an invisible rival. The exact rules of the game have not come down to us, so they have being a study case for experts. According to one of the most accredited versions (by the scholar Timothy Kendall), the aim of the two player was bring every pawns out the board, maybe with the aim to symbolically lead them to the dark afterlife. The Egyptian senet were made of wood and ceramic, but today there are also plastic models, as well as online versions, useful for recalling a millennial challenge.

Translated by Giorgia Melis


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  • L'Autore

    Mario Rafaniello

    Mario Rafaniello Vice Responsabile della rubrica “Culturalmente Imparando”. Partecipa anche all’entusiasmante progetto “Japan 2020” e si interessa di arte, cultura e letteratura.

    Laureato in Giurisprudenza e laureando in Relazioni Internazionali. Attualmente collabora con diversi portali online.

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