The Game of Ur

Type Board Game
Ages 13+

A 4,500 year old, two-player game from the Sumerian city of Ur

More details


The Royal Game of Ur is one of the earliest known tabletop games. It was excavated by British Archeologist Sir Leonard Wooley in the 1920s. Several different boards have been excavated for the game at various locations. This version is based on a beautifully patterned wooden board excavated at Ur and intended for two players.

The Board and all pieces are made of wood. The set includes eleven white and eleven black playing pieces as well 8 tetrahedral dice similar to the dice used thousands of years ago to play the game. The wooden board opens up to store all components inside.

The exact rules to this game are not known but much has been deduced by archeologists. Included is a strategic interpretation of the rules where players take turns placing pieces on the board. after all pieces are placed players take turns rolling then moving pieces trying to control 4 spaces with the same symbol.

A simpler and probably more authentic interpretation says that the game plays similar to backgammon. Although many different rule variants and paths have been proposed a popular one can be found here, at GameCabinet.