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The Shahr-i Sokhta Board Game © ™
A Game That World Must Know About

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

The Discovery

So far, more than 100 of these types of ancient intellectual games have been discovered in the Middle East with different patterns, shapes and materials such as wood, clay and stone. In the ancient times, intellectual games of twenty houses were of interest to everyone and they played this game in every culture and it was not specific to one culture. In the ancient cemetery of Shahr-i Sokhta in Sistan, a remarkable discovery was made within grave number 731, an ancient game that represents the oldest complete collection of its kind found to date. While it's important to note that this isn't the world's first or oldest board game, it stands as the oldest complete board game ever discovered, dating back approximately 4,600 to 4,700 years. What sets the Shahr-i Sokhta game apart is being the earliest known example of a 20-square game with a complete set. This makes it an invaluable resource in understanding the history and evolution of board games and it has the potential to reshape the history of board games. For the first time, the game board was reconstructed and introduced with ancient rules that more likely they have been played during that era. The scientific paper was written by Sam Jelveh from the University of Essex, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and Dr. Hossein Moradi, Supervisor of residential area excavation at Shahr i Sokhta.

Video by Mohammad Reza Rokni (Artist)

The Game In The Press and Media

Shargh Newspaper (In Persian)
Shargh is one of the most popular Reformist newspapers in Iran.

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

Iran International News Television Channel
One of the most watched Persian language news television channel

Rahvard Mehr Publication (In Persian)
Rahvard Mehr is a popular publication focusing on cultural, social, and economic topics on a monthly basis.

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

Playthrough In Cambridge and London

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

Cambridge Waterstones

For the first time, the ancient game of the Shahr-i Sokhta was introduced and played in the famous library in the city of Cambridge, which attracted the attention of young people. That program showed that this is a game that is loved by people of other nations.

Bergamot Cafe

The game was also introduced and played exclusively in London.

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

National Museum of Iran

On November 6th, 2023, an official ceremony was held at the National Museum of Iran to unveil the Shahr-i Sokhta game. In that ceremony, the decoding and reconstruction of the ancient game of Shahr-i Sokhta was discussed.

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

Setup the game pieces

View the gameplay summary

Full video is coming soon!

New Production

The first and limited copies are made for museums. The physical copy available to order worldwide with the best quality, meeting museum standards. Please note that we are selling hand-made life-size game sets with ancient rules derived from recent scientific research. When you purchase it, please look for the official logos of Persian Wonders and the Shahr-i Sokhta archaeological site. Any profit will help charity in Sistan. The ancient game of the Shahr-i Sokhta has been patented.

The Shahr-i Sokat Game

Unboxing of the sample version

The basic facts to remember

The game is complete, comprising 27 pieces, neither 60 nor 25. It was discovered in grave 731, and these pieces do not belong to any other board game. Interestingly, another board game was also discovered near Shahr-i Sokhta, sharing similarities in its pieces. There is no record of any paint on the board. The pieces do not exhibit a wide, bizarre variety of shapes; they are distinguished by geometric shapes recently analyzed, and a few pieces can even be seen on local pottery, unlike those found in Ur. The ancient rules introduced for Shahr-i Sokhta are very similar to the royal game of Ur but slightly more strategic due to the different pieces. The game was tested with 10 people of varying ages and backgrounds, including experienced and inexperienced players. It's a two-player racing game lasting 45 minutes. The key to understanding the game is to never overthink when dealing with a complete ancient board game, and remember, wood decays over thousands of years!

Digital Game

The Game of 20 Origin: The Shahr-i Sokhta board game is a strategic race game. The goal is to navigate all your pieces around and off the board before your opponent. You can also capture your opponent's pieces by landing on them. At the moment, you can only play against the computer.

The game helps you understand and guide the ancient rules and how the game might have been played 4700 years ago. It’s the oldest version, possibly the origin, of the game of twenty, with all complete sets, and each player has 12 pieces to race and fight in 12 spaces. The best way to understand the rules is to play them yourself.
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Video by Mohammad Reza Rokni (Artist)

support and sold by

Ancient game of Shahr-i Sokhta with support of UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Shahr-i Sokhta, Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism and National Museum of Iran

Scientific paper: Access
Have a question: info@persianwonders.com