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Reproduction of a gaming board

Commissioned from Emile Gilliéron & Fils in 1916 and completed 1920.

Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan IA
ca. 1750–1525 B.C.
painted plaster
Overall: 1 7/8 x 40 3/4 x 24 3/8 in. (4.8 x 103.5 x 61.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Excavated 1901 north of the Loomweight Basement at Knossos.

    The original has inlays of ivory, rock crystal, and glass paste, and was decorated with kyanos blue as well as gold and silver sheetmetal, on a wooden base. Four ivory gaming pieces with engraved bases were found nearby and are associated with it. This is the most complex and best preserved gaming board to survive from Minoan Crete. Although, the details of how the game was played are not known, it may well have had a ritual context. Inlaid gaming boards were also used by neighboring cultures during the Bronze Age, especially in the Ancient Near East.

    Due to the complexity of the original and its use of varied materials only partially preserved, the creation of this cast was one of the most complex executed by the Gillierons for the Metropolitan Museum and was also among the most expensive. It is displayed in the case originally made for it at the Museum.

    The original is in the Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Crete.