This Week In History News, Sept. 10 – 16

Published September 15, 2023

Board game uncovered inside 16th-century castle in Poland, ancient artifacts found along Pilgrimage Road in Israel, Bronze Age brain and skin remains unearthed in Turkey.

500-Year-Old Board Game Likely Inspired By The Minotaur’s Labyrinth Found Inside A Castle In Poland

Game Uncovered At Castle In Poland

Tomasz OlszackiSome experts believe that this game’s board was not only used for playing, but was also meant to carry symbolic magical messages while invoking imagery of the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

While working inside the ruins of a Polish castle, archaeologists recently discovered a board game dating back to the early 16th century. With ancient origins stretching as far back as Rome and Confucius, this game was known by many names ranging from Mill to Merels to Ninepenny Marl, and saw two players compete to place three pieces in a straight line on the board. Some experts believe that this game’s board was not only used for playing, but was also meant to carry symbolic magical messages while invoking imagery of the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

See more here.

Artifacts Found Along Ancient Route To Mecca May Have Protected Pilgrims From The ‘Evil Eye’

Clay Artifacts

Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities AuthorityThe artifacts include a figurine of a woman, left, and an animal, right.

In 1990, a resident of Eilat in southern Israel came across a number of clay artifacts. Now, researchers have determined that these items were likely once viewed as “magical” objects which offered protection to pilgrims making their way to the holy city of Mecca.

The 400-year-old items, which appear to have originated in Egypt, were found along a former pilgrimage route that connected Cairo to Mecca. They include a figurine of a woman, possibly a goddess, with raised arms; round rattles filled with small stones, which would have been used in ceremonies; votive incense altars; animal figurines; pebbles; and seashells.

Dig deeper in this report.

Well-Preserved 3,700-Year-Old Bronze Age Brain And Skin Remains Found In Turkey

Bronze Age Remains

Anadolu AgencySkeletal remains found at Tavşanlı Mound, with brains and skin intact.

During an excavation in Turkey, archaeologists uncovered the startlingly well-preserved remains of two Bronze Age individuals — including brain and skin remnants.

The discovery was made by researchers from Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, who said that the find is particularly noteworthy because it is the first instance of skin remains being found during archaeological excavations in Turkey. Brain remains are also incredibly rare, having only been found four or five times before there.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.