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Game Board with Separate Drawer

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
The game of senet reflects the belief that the deceased encountered demons on the road to the underworld who blocked gateways. The Egyptian word senet means “passing,” a reference to avoiding the demons when passing through the gateways. The game board represents the zones through which the deceased had to travel to reach the place of judgment. A New Kingdom text suggests the game was played between the deceased and an unnamed opponent, the stakes being the deceased’s continued existence. But there is also evidence that senet was popular among the living.
  • Possible Place Made: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1295 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18 (possibly)
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/16 x 3 3/8 x 11 in. (5.3 x 8.5 x 28 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Game Board with Separate Drawer, ca. 1539-1295 B.C.E. Wood, 2 1/16 x 3 3/8 x 11 in. (5.3 x 8.5 x 28 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.93E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.37.93E_37.94E_mummychamber.jpg)
    IMAGE group, CUR.37.93E_37.94E_mummychamber.jpg.
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rectangular wooden box with squares for the playing of the games on two opposite long sides. One of the "boards" has 30 squares (arranged in three rows of 10 squares): row of 12 squares flanked by two rows of 4 squares. A sliding drawer in one of the short ends is provided for the storage of gaming pieces. (The pieces are 37.94E). Condition: Defects in wood plugged by new pieces during manufacture. Drawer slightly chipped on two pieces inside.
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