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UR OF ANTIQUITY – How to Play the Royal Game of Mesopotamian Sumerians (British Museum replica acquired by Mardukites)

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THE MESOPOTAMIAN GAME OF UR was lost to the modern world until its excavation from the ancient Sumerian city of UR in the 1920’s, for which it is named after. It rivals the African “Mancala” as the “oldest game in the world.” Its discovery is credited to the British Archaeologist Sir Leonard Wooley when he unearthed an incredible hoard of ancient art pieces for the British Museum and University of Pennsylvania.

wp_20161015_22_57_42_pro THE GAME OF UR “boards” were found in the graves of kings, members of the royal court and priest-magicians who controlled the systemology of Sumerian/Mesopotamian society – the “cradle of modern human civilization.” As a result academicians have also consider “UR OF ANTIQUITY” to be a “Royal Game” of ancient Sumer. The game later appears among royalty and priesthoods of Egypt. Elsewhere, temporary versions of the “board” were even found carved on rocks.

Game pieces — “tokens” and accompanying “dice” — were found with “boards” and we are also fortunate enough to have recovered cuneiform clay tablets describing methods of play.

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Tokens are made from small circular clay “chips” marked on one side with five dots or asterisks, allowing the distinction of the two sides, similar to the “game” use of coins today. There is a set for each player, one dark (black) and one light (white). Complete game sets, allowing for all prescribed methods of play, generally have seven of each type, although only six pieces are used in a standard GAME OF UR.

Dice consist of small dark clay four-sided tetrahedrons – essentially the d4 of today’s role-playing games – with two of the four tips marked white. This means when rolled, there is a fifty percent chance of the dice coming up with a marked “tip.” The dice are used to decide a starting player and during the game to indicate the number of moves allowed in a player’s turn. In a standard GAME OF UR each player uses four of these dice for their rolls, scoring the throws as follows:


1 point = 1 marked tip
2 points = 2 marked tips
3 points = 3 marked tips
4 points = 4 marked tips
5 points = no marked tips


UR GAME (1987)

UR GAME (1987)

The standard GAME OF UR begins with two players, each with six playing tokens and four tetrahedral dice. The dice are thrown for the privilege of going first. The player scoring highest wins this honor. Players then take turns strategically placing their tokens (with the marked side up) onto board squares. When each player has placed all six of their tokens, the next phase of game play ensues.

THE GAME OF UR is won by a player having four of their tokens on four of the identical squares of any one of the three sets of the five identical designs:

— The Flower of Life (a lotus wheel)
— The Four Elements (four eyes and crosses)
— The Heavens and Gods (five dots within circles)

…plus one more of the tokens on one of the other squares:

— The Solar/Fire God (four zig-zag squares with five dots each)
— The Celebration (sixteen dots with crosses)
— The All-God (zig-zag squares or all seeing eye)

UR GAME (British Museum Replica)

UR GAME (British Museum Replica)

After the players have placed their tokens on the board and “there has been no easy winner,” the players take turns moving tokens as determined by the dice count. Players may move a token in any direction (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) jumping either color piece but must finish on an unoccupied space and have not counted any space twice in their move.

When first placed, all six of a player’s tokens are played marked side up. Each time a player moves a token it is flipped over, showing it has been moved or played. A player cannot move or play this token again until all tokens show they have been moved/played. This continues until the object of the GAME OF UR has been achieved or until a player traps their opponent into a position where they cannot move. In many respects, the GAME OF UR resembles elements later found in tic-tac-toe, connect-four, checkers, chinese checkers and chess.

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[In October 2016, the Archives of the Mardukite Research Organization gained possession of a deluxe complete set wooden replica of the GAME OF UR on display in the British Museum. This official Mardukite informative blog is based on this new acquisition of our offices. For more information on Sumerians, Babylonians and mysteries of the ancient world of Mesopotamia, please refer to the Mardukite Bookshop.]

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Sumerian and Babylonian Mythology — Ancient Anunnaki A-to-Z (Study Guide) Part 3

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Mastering Mardukite Mesopotamian Mythology
A Brief Anunnaki A-to-Z Directory (Study Guide) – PART THREE
edited by Joshua Free for Liber-52

[See necrogate.com for PART TWO]

ERESHKIGAL – [“Mistress of the Great Below”] The Queen of the Great Lands in the Sumerian tradition, sister of INANNA-ISHTAR, granddaughter of ENLIL and spouse to NERGAL.

MesopotamianReligionFrontcrop GANZIR — The gatekeeper to the underworld ‘Kingdom of Shadows.’ The ‘Gate of Ganzir’ is often confused with the ‘Gate to the Abyss’ or the ‘Gate to the Outside’, but instead it is a portal into the Anunnaki-controlled Underworld, the ‘Shadowlands’ or twilight world within the domain of ERESHKIGAL, who rules this ‘land of the dead’. Quoting a modern grimoire of Babylonian occultism, the “necromantic art, by which is it desirous to speak with the phantom of someone dead, and perhaps dwelling in the ABSU [Abyss], and thereby a servant of ERESHKIGAL… it is no less than the opening of the Gate of Ganzir.”

GIBIL [“He Who Has Fire”] — The companion of the flame, a descendent of ENKI who uses fire to conduct alchemy and other feats of “fire power.”

GIRRA — The “servant”, “power” or “fire” of the ‘great god’; the Sumerian fire-god or essence or force of a fire-god named GIBIL.

INANNA {15} [“Lady of Heaven”] — The Sumerian goddess of “passion”, both ‘love’ and ‘war’, and patron of URUK, begot by NANNA and NINGAL; originally betrothed to MARDUK, she then changes her consort choice to DUMUZI. Her prowess and determination secured her a place in all ancient pantheons; being the “Goddess of One-Thousand Names,” titled ISHTAR in Babylon. INANNA (ISHTAR) is the spirit of Venus, whose day is Friday and with an essence found in copper. Her colors are green and white, significant to her domain of fertility and growth. She offers her magicians the skills in love and visions of beauty.

NECRONOMICON - THE ANUNNAKI BIBLE (Sixth Edition)

NECRONOMICON – THE ANUNNAKI BIBLE (Sixth Edition)

MARDUK {10/(50)} [“Son of God”] The supreme champion of the IGIGI during pre-Sumerian times of the Anunnaki; heir-son of ENKI, he becomes the patron of Babylon and the ‘Mardukite‘ tradition reigning for the Age of Aries in Mesopotamia. All tablet cycles making reference to MARDUK are purely Babylonian or from a direct later source – as he does not appear in any significant pre-Babylonian cuneiform tablet cycles yet unearthed. When mentioned briefly as the son of ENKI, working in Eridu, he is named ASARLUHI, becoming the patron Anunnaki “deity” of magic or ‘Master of Magicians’ after having inherited the craft from his father. The blatant industrious and expansive power represented by MARDUK in his ascent up the pantheon (as observed in Babylon) is typified by the planet Jupiter (ENLIL, by Sumerian standards). His color is purple.

NABU {12} [“Prophet”] — The official post-Sumerian secretary of the Anunnaki, part-divine earth born heir-son of MARDUK and messenger-herald and spokesperson of the ‘Mardukite’ tradition, the national cult of Babylon devised by NABU who assisted his father in the redevelopment of the Anunnaki paradigm (as seen in the ‘Mardukite‘ religion of Babylon replacing the previously observed ‘Enlilite’ world order of the Sumerians). Creating the concept of ‘history’ and ‘propaganda’, NABU gives the ‘stylus’ to humanity (and launches a group of scribe-priests (specially taught writing and rhetoric) to catalog the natures, identities, history and decrees (decisions) of the Anunnaki Assembly (gods) and their relationship with each other and the human (“mortal”) world, thereby creating not only the first public ‘religion’, but the first ‘mythology’ (a religion rooted in literary and oral legacies of human relationships and encounters with the divine) and the systems that were able to later result (most of which are still functioning as part of ‘normal’ everyday life in contemporary society). NABU is the archetypal ‘High Priest’ (ENSAG) of the first religion (dedicated to MARDUK) and practiced by priests who preserve the craft of ENKI in Eridu with science and ‘magic’ of the gods to power and sustain the prosperous longevity of Babylon.

…to be continued.

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