Senet is believed to be one of the world's oldest board games and pictures of ancient Egyptians have been found playing it such as the one discovered in the tomb of Queen Nefertari, the queen of Ramesses II. Whilst the game has survived to the modern day, and has been recreated here in a flash format, the actual rules are unknown as, if they ever were written down, they have been lost in time. Despite this, rules have emerged which reflect what those rules probably were. Essentially Senet is a board game where each player has five pieces on a ten by three piece board and the aim of the game is to remove all of your pieces off the board.
Firstly you throw the sticks and for every stick that lands facing upwards you can make one step around the board. (There are four sticks, if, however none land facing up, you can make five moves.) After the number of moves have been established you can start moving your pieces and each piece can move to an empty square or a square occupied by an opponent piece, in this case the two pieces switch positions. When two pieces of a player are adjacent to each other, those two pieces are safe and cannot be swapped. When 3 pieces are adjacent to each other, the pieces of another player cannot pass through them.
The last 5 squares are special squares, a piece is always safe on a safe square and will not be swapped, the fourth last square is the water square, when a piece lands on it, it must start from the beginning again. An exact throw is needed to leave the board. The video (below) gives instructions on how to play Senet complete, obviously, with the rules of this most ancient of games, although it should be stated that the rules are assumed as, if they were ever written down, they have been lost in the mist of time.
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