Watch the world's oldest board game, The Royal Game of Ur, being played


Originally published at:


jfc, is that the guy who invented it?


I made a laser cut version of this game!

It’s a lot of fun. there are also some print and play versions online.


I’m sure this is a reboing, but i can’t find the original post.


How did you handle the special dice? The shape and 50/50 chance of turning up a dot from each die is a factor.


I got a copy of the game as a reward for kickstarting Dr Finkel’s book.
It is immense fun - I’ve had games where it went back and forth so much that it came down to seeing who would roll the number they needed first.

The dice are a bit of a PITA to handle, but the fact that you can roll a 0 makes for some real drama…


Not unless they managed to not use “Game of Ur” or “Irving Finkel” in their post. I too suspected someone might have blogged it here last year, but couldn’t find a post.


Despite the subject matter being a 4000 year old board game from Mesopotamia, that video was the most delightfully English thing I’ve seen in awhile.


Can someone sumerize the rules? These akkademics just babylon and on…


Very cool. I’m going to have to look more into this.

In the post though: “The Royal Game of Ur actually looks really fun, and pretty fun.” So…? It’s fun. I guess.


Oops. My bad. I used exciting twice so I changed one to fun. I shall fix. Thanks. It’s really exciting AND really fun.


Are ur serious?


No problem. I hope I wasn’t a dick while pointing it out. I don’t skim read and running across it was like stubbing my brain.

I’m going to see if I can assemble a copy of Ur and try it out. And I may need to find a copy of the book that philipstorry mentioned.



Assistant Curator Finkel’s trash talk game is on point.


I love this guy to an unreasonable extent. I think he’s an honest-to-goodness wizard.


It’s exactly like basketball in that if you’ve got a competent opponent, the only thing that matters in a game is the last minute or two.


Good thing that Ur didn’t invent Magic: The Gathering, or civilization would never have got off the ground.



I kinda thought the same.

But ooooh man that Royal Game of Ur gameboard is so striking and beautiful to look at (especially compared to the one covered in January)… such difference. Each board speaks volumes about the culture it came from.