Board Games Reconsidered: Mancala in the Balkans

  • Vesna Bikić Arheološki institut Beograd
  • Jasna Vuković Odeljenje za arheologiju Filozofski fakultet Univerzitet u Beogradu
mancala, boardgames, the Balkans, the Neolithic Age, Africa, Mediterranean


Two mancala (one of the oldest games in the world) boards, which were found in the Lower Town of the Belgrade Fortress in 2006, present so far unique archaeological proof that this game was played in the region of the Balkan peninsula. Considering the fact that the knowledge regarding mancala is still quite modest, in this paper, we have also examined the different aspects of this game: the question of its origin, which is linked to the beginning of the Neolithic Age on the territories of Africa and the Near East; the link with the methods of geomantic divination; the anthropological knowledge regarding playing mancala in traditional communities; the distribution and the directions of its diffusion, as well as the archaeological finds in the area Mediterranean.


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How to Cite
Bikić, Vesna, and Jasna Vuković. 2010. “Board Games Reconsidered: Mancala in the Balkans”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 5 (1), 183 - 209.
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