- Board games likely originated in Egypt and the Fertile Crescent before spreading to other regions.
- India and China also had very early board games, but the exact dates of their creation remain unknown.
- The earliest board games appear to have been reserved for the elite and spread throughout Europe during the Roman conquest.
Competitive board games -- played on the ground, on the floor, or on boards -- emerged as pastimes for the elite, with the Roman Empire spreading their popularity throughout Europe, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal Antiquity, mentions that board games likely originated and disseminated from Egypt and the Fertile Crescent regions at around 3500 B.C. From there, they spread around the Mediterranean before reaching the Roman Empire and what is now Europe.
Based on the archaeological record, board games didn't even reach Britain until the very end of the 1st century B.C. from newly conquered Gaul. At the time, Gaul was a region encompassing present-day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland and other areas.