A 2,500-year-old dice game board with Phrygian script was discovered

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In the ancient city of Daskyleion, a 2,500-year-old dice game board belonging to a Persian man was found, which experts consider an important discovery for Anatolian history.

It was determined that the inscription found on the dice game board at the Daskyleion archaeological site in Hisartepe, Ergili neighborhood of Bandırma district in Balıkesir, was written in Phrygian letters and reads “Bagabazos’s dice game.”

Head of the Excavation Team Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Archeology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Kaan İren, from the French National Scientific Research Center, Dr. He said he was examined by Rostyslav Oreshko.

İren “Dr. Oreshko made an important discovery in terms of Anatolian history. The piece found appears to be a dice game board and has the inscription ‘Bagabazos’ dice game’ or ‘The dice player Bagabazos’. It is stated that he is an individual. His name is mentioned as Megabazos in ancient Greek sources. This game board, dating to the 5th century BC, represents the first such archaeological find. It was found in Anatolia at that time and was discovered in Daskyleion.” said.

Head of the Excavation Team Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Archeology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Kaan İren
Head of the Excavation Team Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Archeology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Kaan İren Photo: AA

Kaan İren also mentioned that they determined the Frig structure they reached this year to be the city entrance wall and tower dating back to the 8th century BCE. He stated that the 4-5 meter-high wall and the tower with a thickness of 8 meters would add visual appeal to Daskyleion.

“The research we conducted in the kitchen revealed that the Lydians consumed dog meat.”

Prof. Dr. İren provided the following information regarding the kitchen from the Lydian period they had previously discovered in Daskyleion:

“We initiated our studies on the Lydian cuisine in 2022. During the excavations related to the eating and drinking traditions of the Lydians, we uncovered animal bones, seeds, and kitchen utensils in 2022. In the process, we also came across the bones of two cats and a mouse. This finding indicated that the Lydians kept cats to control mice infestations. In our 2023 excavations, we found dog bones. Our research in the kitchen revealed that the Lydians consumed dog meat. We are meticulously continuing these excavations. Furthermore, our research has led us to discover legumes, lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, wheat, and barley. We also identified that the Lydians made bread-crumb soup. Among our findings is the pigment plant used in the dye industry.”

Cover Photo: AA

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