3000-year-old board games and a compass-rose discovered in Iranian island

London, April 21: An ancient four-pointed compass-rose showing directions of ‘four cardinal points’ and a number of board-games carved on rocks, dating back to around 3000 years, have been discovered in the Iranian island of Kharg in the Persian Gulf.

According to a report from the Persian service of CHN, Shahram Eslami, a local and a member of Kharg’s Friends of Cultural Heritage, made the discovery.

The relics were studied and their ancient origins identified by Dr Reza Moradi Ghiasabadi.

“The engravings are between 2000 and 3000 years old. The first discovered carving is located beside an ancient road which is a four-pointed compass-rose showing directions of four cardinal points within a square-shape with rounded angles setting, 50x50cm in diameters,” said Ghiasabadi.

“Some sections of the compass-rose have been damaged, apparently as the result of a cracks in the rock,” he added.

The compass-rose’s lines have been placed in a position to determine the cardinal points, which have only two degrees of error based on the Global Positioning System
(GPS), according to Ghiasabadi.

“This is a unique discovery and a great deal of efforts and resources should be made available to safeguard the relic. Also, we must not remove it from its original place,” he emphasized.

The remaining carvings, which are board games, were discovered in the northwest of the island.

The board games are in a mixture of circular and oblong shape settings, in various diameters, some 4cm and some in 10cm in circumference. All these carvings were engraved over the rocky-ground’s flat surfaces.

These are located on the hinterland at the top of the cliff overlooking the waters of the Persian Gulf.

These game-boards have been carved on the rocks in various settings, from which Ghiasabadi managed to identify seven.

Some of them could be a proto-type for backgammon. (ANI)