Roman soldiers spend time with strategic board game

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admin March 27, 2022 59 Views
Updated 2022/03/27 at 1:15 AM
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Roman soldiers spend time with strategic board game
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The residence of the officer of the Roman garrison was located inside the fort (Castle) which was built on the hill Puig Castellar de Biosca (Segarra, Lleida), an elevation of land from which controlled the route of the Segre connecting the Mediterranean coast to the Ebro valley. They were closed—though it was always necessary to be vigilant. So the soldiers stationed there limited themselves to surveillance tasks and their free time to do what they liked best: playing. In 2019, the archaeological team of Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)) who excavates the site created within the project From the consolidation of Roman military power to the founding of cities, funded by Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Generalitat de Catalunya, turned out to be “an extraordinary discovery”: the board the military used to risk their salaries. study now Puig Castellar de Biosca. Lusoria, a tabula found in the Republican Castle ofsigned by archaeologists Esther Rodrigo Riquena And Nuria Romani, The Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​reconstructs the game of soldiers who came from the Italian peninsula and who brought the sport to the Iberian Peninsula.

This finding allows us to confirm, the study states, that “we are encountering one of the first well-dated examples of a board in the Iberian Peninsula and it gives us information about the activity of soldiers in their spare time.” provides clues in, and also tells us about the existence of italic components of these, since board games would have been an unknown pastime for the native population until that time”, 2nd century BC. C.

In the central part of the site, 1.6 hectares, was a regular building with an italic plan and architecture, measuring 30.2 by 29.7 m, and which was the residence of the commanding officer (to start or inside the fort) The building was built around a central courtyard of 97 square meters around which were located 14 different spaces with terrazzo pavements and small ceramic pieces. The set included a pool to collect rainwater. The whole complex was protected by a wall 1 to 1.2 meters wide, surrounded by five towers without a moat. The walls were built of sandstone.

Rooms for soldiers were attached to the interior of the wall, of which some walls have been preserved. The rooms occupy from 9.44 square meters to 27.70. In the so-called room C7 approximately 25 square meters, and next to the place of combustion for heating, Table.

The Archaeological Site of Puig Segarra de Biosca in Lleida.
The Archaeological Site of Puig Segarra de Biosca in Lleida.Autonomous University of Barcelona

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It is a flat stone slab with a polygonal shape of 48.5 and 26 cm – originally it was rectangular – which appeared to be fragmented. It is covered with incisions to form a checkerboard grid. According to archaeologists, the soldiers did not scratch directly on the slab, but first gave it a white grout to make their job easier.

In all, the game board has 176 squares between 2 and 2.7 cm across. “The presence of this Table In its original condition, it allows for a complete reconstruction of what will be the moment the rest of the soldiers housed in these rooms. By fire, they had to play for hours to kill boredom and long periods of inactivity. Castle rearguard that probably didn’t have much distraction or action”, says Esther Rodrigo.

The study also indicates that across Europe they have found Tablee different with different dimensions and also with many boxes. “Of these, one discovered in 2006” Table 17 by 18 boxes of wood that were part of the rich trousseau of a German leader’s tomb, designated as foederatus [aliado] of Roman soldiers and which dates back to about 375 AD. C.”. On the other hand, several discoveries have also been made in the camps of the imperial chronology (1st century AD), located in the northwestern quadrant in the Iberian Peninsula.

And how was it played? Nuria Romani describes it: “It will undoubtedly be a distraction for adults. We know that the Romans were very fond of all kinds of games, such as games of chance, strategy, and above all, any sport where you could bet.” In this case, both experts refer ludus latrunculorum Or mercenary games, which deal with military strategy and tactics.

“With regard to its rules, reconstruction efforts based on documentary mentions and archeology have been numerous without being able to establish with absolute certainty neither the rules nor their development. Experts agree that two players face two armies and the winner was the one who managed to keep the largest number of pieces without being captured. Tactics would involve trying to corner, stabilize and hold the opponent’s chips until they surrender,” the study reads.

Thanks to ceramics found at the site, researchers have calculated that the board was made between 180 BCE. C. and 120 A. C. “Looking at the document material, everything indicates that about 120 A. C. The fortifications will be abandoned. It searches very solid and accurate dating Lucy Table”,

Archaeologists, given the board layout on the last floor of the room and covered by the crumbling levels of the room, believe that it was in use until the last moments of the occupation of the military fortifications., “Practically, all cases documented to date are attached to a chronology that is already in the imperial era, at an advanced moment in the 1st century AD. c. and, in some cases, to the 3rd and 5th centuries. Unlike the Segarra discovery, none of these finds has appeared in a defined stratigraphic context that allows precise dating and for most local examples, nor do we have a precise spatial reference defined, with the sole exception of patavonium”, Camp of the Gemina (Leon) Legion X, 1st century AD. C.

so it Table The earliest evidence of the practice of board games, and in particular the game of Ludus Latrunculorum, In the Roman-Hispanic context, since Castle Puig Castellar de Biosca is, to this day, one of the first stable military enclaves that we can place in Hispania at the early moment of the Roman conquest after the Second Punic War.

The experts were sorry, however, that they could not find the files, so they concluded that “probably by the time the camp was abandoned, the soldiers would have carried easily transportable elements in their luggage, leaving the bulky and uncomfortable board back.” “.

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