How to Make a Senet Board

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Resembling today's backgammon, senet was a game played by the ancient Egyptians.


Senet is played on a board which contains 30 squares three across by 10 vertically, numbered 1 to 30. Each player has five to 10 pieces or pawns that are moved on and off the game board by throwing casting sticks. There are several rule variations available.

Things You'll Need

  • A flat piece of wood or heavy card board
  • Two different paint colors (your choice of colors)
  • Paint brush
  • Four craft sticks
  • Markers
  • 2 different color pieces/pawns (five to 10 each)

Making a Homemade Senet Game

  • To make a senet board use a sturdy pieces of cardboard or a piece of wood. The board will need to have 30 squares painted on it in alternating colors, similar to a checker board. Draw the outline of the board and squares in a thick black marker. There should be three rows. Each row will need 10 squares.

  • Once the board is outlined, use a brush to paint the squares alternating colors. You can use any two colors you choose. Wait for the paint to dry.

  • After the paint is dry, begin numbering the squares. The first row will be numbered, left to right, 1-10. The second row will be numbered, right to left, 11-20. The last row will be numbered, left to right, 21-30. Add some pictures to squares 15 and 26-30. Research Egyptian symbols or make your own signs for fun.

  • Each player will need five to 10 pieces or pawns. The more pawns, the more challenging the game. The pawns can be made from just about anything that has a flat bottom. Stones, flat glass marbles or checkers are easily found. You will need five 10 each of two different colors or shapes.

  • Once the board and playing pieces are ready, you will need the dice or casting sticks. Casting sticks are used to determine the number of spaces moved. They are flat sticks with a mark on one side and blank on the other. Craft sticks are a easy find. Use a colored marker to make a dash mark on each end of one side. Leave the bottom side of the stick blank. You are now ready to play.

Tips & Warnings

  • This is a great lead-in for Egyptian history lessons. Have fun creating your own Egyptian icons.

References

  • Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
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