Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago

Date:
February 8, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Play was a central element of people’s lives as far back as 4,000 years ago, according to new research that investigates the social significance of the phenomenon of play and games in the Bronze Age Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan.

Play was a central element of people's lives as far back as 4,000 years ago. This has been revealed by an archaeology thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, which investigates the social significance of the phenomenon of play and games in the Bronze Age Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan.

It is not uncommon for archaeologists excavating old settlements to come across play and game-related finds, but within established archaeology these types of finds have often been disregarded.

"They have been regarded, for example, as signs of harmless pastimes and thus considered less important for research, or have been reinterpreted based on ritual aspects or as symbols of social status," explains author of the thesis Elke Rogersdotter.

She has studied play-related artefacts found at excavations in the ruins of the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in present-day Pakistan. The remains constitute the largest urban settlement from the Bronze Age in the Indus Valley, a cultural complex of the same era as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The settlement is difficult to interpret; for example, archaeologists have not found any remains of temples or palaces. It has therefore been tough to offer an opinion on how the settlement was managed or how any elite class marked itself out.

Elke Rogersdotter's study shows some surprising results. Almost every tenth find from the ruined city is play-related. They include, for instance, different forms of dice and gaming pieces. In addition, the examined finds have not been scattered all over. Repetitive patterns have been discerned in the spatial distribution, which may indicate specific locations where games were played.

"The marked quantity of play-related finds and the structured distribution shows that playing was already an important part of people's everyday lives more than 4,000 years ago," says Elke.

"The reason that play and game-related artefacts often end up ignored or being reinterpreted at archaeological excavations is probably down to scientific thinking's incongruity with the irrational phenomenon of games and play," believes Elke.

"The objective of determining the social significance of the actual games therefore, in turn, challenges established ways of thinking. It is an instrument we can use to come up with interpretations that are closer to the individual person. We may gain other, more socially-embedded, approaches for a difficult-to-interpret settlement."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207114941.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, February 8). Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207114941.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207114941.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins