more on board games. BAAAD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senet
Senet, a board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt, is the oldest board game whose ancient existence has been confirmed, dating to circa 3500 BC . The full name of the game in Ancient Egyptian was zn.t n.t H'b meaning the "passing game."
Senet may be the oldest board game in World History. Other contenders for this title include Go and Oware; although it is impossible to prove which game is the oldest. The oldest remnants of any ancient board game ever unearthed however are those of Senet, found in Predynastic and First Dynasty burials of Egypt (see ref. ), circa 3500 BC and 3100 BC respectively. Senet is also featured in a painting from the tomb of Merknera (3300-2700 BC) (see external links below). Another painting of this ancient game is from the Third Dynasty tomb of Hesy (c. 2686-2613 BC). It is also depicted in a painting in the tomb of Rashepes (c. 2500 BC).
By the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt (1567-1085 BC), it had become a kind of talisman for the journey of the dead. Because of the element of luck in the game and the Egyptian belief in determinism, it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the major gods of the national pantheon: Ra, Thoth, and sometimes Osiris. Consequently, Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife and the game is referenced in Chapter XVII of the Book of the Dead. The game was also adopted in the Levant and as far as Cyprus and Crete but with apparently less religious significance.