Board games have been played in most cultures and societies throughout history; some even pre-date literacy skill development in the earliest civilizations. A number of important historical sites, artifacts and documents exist which shed light on early board games.

Old board games

Senet has been found in Predynastic and First Dynasty burials of Egypt, c. 3500 BC and 3100 BC respectively. Senet is the oldest board game known to have existed, having been pictured in a fresco found in Merknera's tomb (3300-2700 BC)

Mehen is another ancient board game from Predynastic Egypt.

Go is an ancient strategic board game originating in China

Patolli is a board game originating in mesoamerica and played by the ancient mayans.

The Royal Tombs of Ur contained, among others, the Royal Game of Ur. They were excavated by Leonard Woolley, but his books document little on the games found. Most of the games he excavated are now housed in the British Museum in London.

Buddha games list is the earliest known list of games.

antique board game

Board Game value

What's it worth? Take a look at this Board Game Derby price guide: sold listings for a value indication.

Board Game forum (7 comments)

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Tom - December 10, 2018

I have "Game of Authors" contains 52 cards. The back of the cards are red print,front of cards black/gray print some having authors face and name, other cards have titles. The box measures 7 1/2" X 5 1/2"X 1 1/2". Printed on the four corners of the box label are illustrations of authors, I believe they are Nathaniel Hawthorne,Alfred Tennyson,Sir Walter Scott and Henry Longfellow, The label is red,blue,black. Sides of the box has what looks like daises printed. Printed on the label is "Parker's Game of Authors" "Illustrated and Improved" Published By Parker Brothers Salem, Mass. Could someone tell me the date of this game and any other information.
►reply: Not sure, but there's also a lot of info to be found in this Wikipedia article. They fetch between 10-25 USD.

- February 2, 2018

i have s.s vandine,s detective game am trying to find out how much it is worth
►reply: I'm seeing prices on eBay ranging from 10 to 100 USD, so I guess it depends on how complete your set is.

Trish - August 31, 2017

does anyone have the Wild Life board game by spear's if so we have the game but no instructions - if anyone could supply would be very grateful - thanks

Kathy - July 18, 2012

i am looking for a card game from late 70s or early 80s there were several recipe cards and a lot of ingredient cards each person took a recipe card and then you had to get all the ingredient cards to make the recipe anyone have any idea of the name of the game ty
►reply: I found 'The Cooking Game'. Its from the 80s though... Search for 'the cooking game' on this website, you might find a copy.

Heather - November 5, 2011

A friend of mine has a 1943 baby barnyard board game made by B.L. Fry Co. i can only find one thing about it online so far can someone please point me in the right direction on finding out more about this game?

Rob - October 20, 2011

I am trying to find BLACK BOX THE GAME, in english, for purchase. Any clues on where I can look?
►reply: Search for black box game on this website, maybe you'll find one.

Sheila - April 24, 2011

CAN i GET HOLD OF A COPY OF hOME YOU GO HOP ACROSS TOWN IN A BUMP AND JUMP GAME?
►reply: If you search for home you go game on this website you might find one.