Archive Pages Design$type=blogging

World’s Oldest Chess Piece Discovered in Jordan

The game of chess is known for its oxymoronic simple complexity, its famous players (Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky), its dif...

>

The game of chess is known for its oxymoronic simple complexity, its famous players (Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky), its difficult but inevitable mastery by computers and its iconic language, board and pieces which have moved into general usage worldwide (checkmate). Chess boards and pieces are often works of art, and now one particular piece has made history. An unusual carved rock discovered in Jordan is believed to be the world’s oldest chess piece, and the location of its finding highlights how the game once unified players of very different backgrounds.

“Since the Humayma object was found in a seventh-century context, if the identification as a chess piece is correct, it would be the earliest known physical example for the simplified, abstract design, and possibly the earliest known example of a chess piece altogether.”

At the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research held in San Diego, California, in late November 2019, John Oleson, a researcher at Canada’s University of Victoria, unveiled new information on a carved piece of white sandstone excavated at Humayma, a former Islamic trading post in Jordan, in 1991. The 2.5 cm tall rock was found in a former Byzantine church which had been converted into a farmhouse in the mid seventh century, which helped date the rock. Since the building was once a church, Oleson originally believed the stone was carved into the shape of a Nabataean (a nomadic Bedouin tribe) altar or a betyl (a sacred stone some believed had unusual powers and may have come from meteorites). However, after further analysis, Oleson decided the stone was closer in design to an Islamic ‘rook’ chess piece.

“There are references to chess-playing in Islamic texts as early as A.H. 23/A.D. 643, and the game was popular throughout the Islamic world by the end of the Umayyad caliphate. Several later abstract “rooks” from Jordan and elsewhere in the Near East, carved in stone, wood, or ivory, are nearly identical to the Humayma object in design and scale.”

Oleson calls it a “rook” and the piece slightly resembles the shape of a castle like the modern rook, but he says the original chess piece was shaped like a chariot pulled by two horses – a “rukh” in Persian. As Oleson explains to Haaretz, the game originated in India in the early 6th century and was spread quickly by caravans of traders to Persia. When Persia was conquered by Arab armies in the seventh century, the game was saved but the figurative pieces were changed to adhere to the Muslim prohibition on making images. That’s when the chariot became the base of a castle and the horses’ ears the towers, but the piece kept its name which evolved to “rook.” (Pictures of the chess piece and where it was found can be seen here.)

Finding this early stone rook in a farmhouse confirms to Oleson that chess was a classless game that everyone played – from the elite and the rich to the farmers and the poor. One didn’t need gold or ivory chess sets to play – carved sandstone pieces would suffice. What’s most interesting is that the rich and poor, upper and lower classes played chess with each other. The game also crossed other barriers.

“There are many Arabic written sources from the ninth, tenth, eleventh century that talk about what’s going on in Baghdad and it seems to have been a hotbed of chess. The Abbasid court in Baghdad felt that chess had the same importance that one finds in Moscow in the late twentieth century. In the literature we have stories of upper class people playing with lower class people, we have illustrations in some chess handbooks of Jews playing with Christians and Muslims playing with Jews and so forth.”

While today we focus more on the fact that computers can now regularly defeat grandmasters, there was a time not so long ago when chess united the world’s superpowers – when Bobby Fischer of the U.S. played against Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union. The game is still popular in Iran and other Islamic countries as long as no money is wagered.

While not the first chess piece ever made, the little stone rook found in Jordan by John Oleson may be the oldest one in existence … and the place where it was found once again highlights the game’s universal appeal – right to left, top to bottom, rich to poor, regardless of religion or race.

Could chess bring us together again? Can we give it a try?

COMMENTS

Loading...
Name

Âm Nhạc Ẩm Thực Angela Phương Trinh Angelina Jolie Bảo Thy benh-gan Bộ Ảnh - Video Brad Pitt Bùa Ngải Bước Nhảy Hoàn Vũ cac-benh-ve-gan Cao Thái Sơn Chi Pu Chuyện chỉ có ở Trung Quốc Chuyện kỳ lạ về trẻ em Chuyện Lạ Chuyện lạ bốn phương chọn lọc Chuyện lạ cảm động về các loài vật Chuyện lạ khó tin nhưng lại có thật Chuyện lạ ở Nhật Bản Chuyện lạ thế giới khó tin nhưng có thật Chuyện lạ về các loài vật Chuyện lạ về các tài năng hiếm có Chuyện lạ về chó và mèo Chuyện lạ về du lịch Chuyện lạ về hôn nhân - vợ chồng Chuyện lạ về những kỷ lục giảm cân Chuyện lạ về sữa Chuyện lạ Việt Nam có thật Cine Cộng Đồng Mạng Công Nghệ Cung Hoàng Đạo Cường Đô La Đàm Vĩnh Hưng Đàn Ông Đặng Thu Thảo dang-mieng Đĩa Bay Diễm My 9x Điện Ảnh Diệp Lâm Anh Đỗ Mạnh Cường Đời Sống doi-song Đông Nhi Đồng Tính Động Vật Du Lịch Đức Phúc fashion Gay Giảm cân Giáo Dục Giới Trẻ Hồ Ngọc Hà Hoa Hậu Hòa Minzy Hoài Linh Hoàng Thùy Linh Học Tiếng Anh hoc-duong Hot News HotNews Hương Giang Idol Hương Tràm Huỳnh Hiểu Minh Issac Jennifer Phạm Jessica Minh Anh Kenbi Khánh Phạm Khám Phá kham-pha Khánh Hiền Khmer News khoa-hoc khoa-hoc-cong-nghe Khoảnh Khắc Lan Khuê Lazada Lê Xuân Tiền Lều Phương Anh Linh Nga Lý Hải Mai Phương Thúy Maria Ozawa Mẹo Vặt Midu Minh Hằng Miu Lê Món ngon mỗi ngày Mọt Phim Musik Mỹ Linh Mỹ Tâm News Ngô Kiến Huy Ngọc Trinh Người ngoài hành tinh Nhật Kim Anh Những chuyện kỳ quặc trên thế giới Những hiện tượng bí ẩn và khó hiểu Những người có khả năng đặc biệt Noo Phước Thịnh Ốc Thanh Vân oto-xe-may Phạm Băng Băng Phạm Hương Phẫu Thuật Thẩm Mỹ Phong cách Phượng Channel Pokémon Go Quang Dũng Sao Shopping Sĩ Thanh Sơn Tùng M-TP sport Star Sức Khỏe suc-khoe suc-khoe-gioi-tinh Tâm Linh Tâm Sự Tăng Thanh Hà Taylor Swift Thanh Hằng Thành Lộc Thanh Thảo The Face - Gương mặt thương hiệu Thể Hình The Remix – Hòa Âm Ánh Sáng the-gioi Thời Trang Thu Minh Thu Phương Thượng Ẩn Thúy Nga Tin Nổi Bật Tin Nóng Tin Thế Giới Tin Trong Nước Tình Yêu Tom Cruise Trà Ngọc Hằng Trấn Thành Trường Giang Trương Nam Thành Tử Vi tv-show UFO Ung Thư Video Việt Hương Vietnam's Next Top Model Vĩnh Thụy Võ Cảnh Võ Hoàng Yến Vũ Khắc Tiệp Vũ Ngọc Anh Vũ Ngọc Đãng xa-hoi xe xo-gan Xu Hướng - Làm Đẹp
false
ltr
item
GIẢI TRÍ SAO 24H: World’s Oldest Chess Piece Discovered in Jordan
World’s Oldest Chess Piece Discovered in Jordan
https://mysteriousuniverse.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/chess-424549_1920-643x440.jpg
GIẢI TRÍ SAO 24H
https://www.giaitrisao24h.com/2019/12/worlds-oldest-chess-piece-discovered-in.html
https://www.giaitrisao24h.com/
https://www.giaitrisao24h.com/
https://www.giaitrisao24h.com/2019/12/worlds-oldest-chess-piece-discovered-in.html
true
5412201294335186192
UTF-8
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All BÀI CÙNG CHỦ ĐỀ LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago