Tutankhamun played marble games, Dutch university says

Other News Materials 1 April 2008 14:41 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Egypt's renowned pharaoh, Tutankhamun, most likely played marble games, Leiden University in the Netherlands said in a statement on Tuesday.

Pieter Lus, a student at Leiden's Egyptology department, recently discovered what he said was a unique papyrus manuscript at a Cairo market.

The painting shows children playing with marbles. One of them is most likely young Tutankhamun, who became Egypt's ruler as a 9-year- old.

"We already knew that marble games originated in Egypt," said Lus who found the manuscript containing several paintings at a stall selling antique books in Cairo.

"But we did not know the game was already played during the time of Tutankhamun."

"So far, we have not found any marbles yet, but the question is of course how to recognize a marble? Nowadays, one can buy the most magnificent marbles, but at the time they were nothing but round stones," he added.

It was the first time such a large papyrus manuscript has been discovered, the scholar said. It was most likely produced towards the end of the child pharaoh's life, who died around 1323 BC.

The manuscript was apparently stolen from the pharaoh's grave in 1922 when British archeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb, and many other archeological artefacts were stolen also.

Leiden University's Egyptology student association uploaded a picture of the manuscript in question on their website, www.dispuutpleyte.nl.