Play was central element of people’s lives in Mohenjodaro 4000yrs back

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LONDON - An archaeology thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has revealed that play was a central element of people’s lives even 4000 years ago.

Elke Rogersdotter is investigating the social significance of the phenomenon of play and games in the Bronze Age Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan.

“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,” Past Horizons quoted her as saying.

She has studied play-related artefacts found at excavations in the ruins of the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in present-day Pakistan.

Rogersdotter’s thesis shows that almost every tenth find from the ruined city is play-related - like different forms of dice and gaming pieces. “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,” she said.

“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,” Rogersdotter added.

“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.” (ANI)

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