The board game called backgammon is one of the most popular games in America today, with more than two million regular players. Yet this game isn’t as popular today as it was more than 2,000 years ago!
No one person invented backgammon. It evolved from a number of old games that were played in the Near East as early as 3000 B.C. The ancient Egyptians played a board game, called senet, that was similar to backgammon. A senet board was found in the tomb of King Tut, which dates from 1500 B.C.
Another game similar to backgammon, called tables, was very popular during the days of ancient Rome. The Emperor Nero played tables for money. Tables was also popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, and this game evolved into modern backgammon around the 14th century.
Some backgammon boards, made of leather and edged with gold, cost over $2,000!