Mr.Waffles

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Mar 27, 2015
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Hey, I know its been a year and a day, but I'm back! This time I got a questions for ya'll.

It seems that I see a lot of people posting round geofacts and asking... "Is this some kind of game piece?". And so far, 10/10 times, the answer is NO. So, my question for you wonderful people is this, has anyone on this community actually found any "game pieces"? Do they even exist? If so, I'd love to see one.
 

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Jon Stewart

Bronze Member
Jan 11, 2011
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I have a few pottery sherds that had the edges rounded into game pieces. They are about the size of checker pieces.
 

smokeythecat

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Nov 22, 2012
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This is one I found January of this year. It was found on a well known American Indian site, and the site was then occupied by 17th and 18th century colonists here in Maryland. It is not a geofact as has definite human workmanship to it. They are referred to as game balls, and this one is unusual as it has a "rolled' edge. If there were any other types of games they played, with the exception of games they played using organic materials, I don't know what they are.

IMG_1533.JPG
 

joshuaream

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Jun 25, 2009
3,170
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Florida & Hong Kong
A lot of game pieces for kids were probably bone, wood, leather, feathers, and cloth when fabric was woven, that are not well preserved in the archaeological record.

Adult games often involved a discoidal, my first couple of pictures. Or perhaps some version of dice/heads tails where smaller bone game pieces were tossed. These bone “serpents” are finished on one side only, the other side is rough bone.
 

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Charl

Silver Member
Jan 19, 2012
3,055
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Rhode Island
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Here's a discoidal from southern Rhode Island:

IMG_3416.JPG

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And a small discoidal, slightly cupped, New England chlorite, RI:

IMG_3412.PNG

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The Narragansett were reported to use a type of "dice". Here's a piece of soapstone I found that has been salvaged to this shape, no heads or tails markings though, maybe unfinished?

IMG_3417.PNG

IMG_3418.PNG
 

MAMucker

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Feb 2, 2019
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This is one I found January of this year. It was found on a well known American Indian site, and the site was then occupied by 17th and 18th century colonists here in Maryland. It is not a geofact as has definite human workmanship to it. They are referred to as game balls, and this one is unusual as it has a "rolled' edge. If there were any other types of games they played, with the exception of games they played using organic materials, I don't know what they are.

View attachment 1738169

JMO: that may be a fine grade quartzite grinding stone or hammer stone.
 

discoidal roller

Jr. Member
May 4, 2012
84
99
Clarksburg, MD
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Hey, I know its been a year and a day, but I'm back! This time I got a questions for ya'll.

It seems that I see a lot of people posting round geofacts and asking... "Is this some kind of game piece?". And so far, 10/10 times, the answer is NO. So, my question for you wonderful people is this, has anyone on this community actually found any "game pieces"? Do they even exist? If so, I'd love to see one.

They certainly exist and the natives were avid gamers.
https://archive.org/details/gamesofnorthamer00culirich/page/406
 

PullTabSlayer

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Jan 31, 2017
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315
Troy Missouri
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That one I grab for the day.
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Are they game pieces? Or launched from a thrower as a weapon? I do not know? I also have what I believe to be a round core before it was worked smooth round like these but dang I cant find it
IMG_6039.JPG
 

The Grim Reaper

Gold Member
Apr 3, 2008
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Southern Ohio
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These three Bone pieces with marking on them are the only true Game Pieces I know I have. These were gifts from Steve Bauman and are from his Mandan Village Site. They are all three marked on one side and plain on the other. I can't recall the name of the game that Steve told me they played with these but it was a type of game of chance.
 

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The Grim Reaper

Gold Member
Apr 3, 2008
7,805
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Southern Ohio
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I also have quite a few of these small Stone and Pottery Discs from Ft Ancient sites. I know the large Discoidals where used in the game of Chunkey, but I can't see these small ones being used for that purpose. I've heard Game Pieces for some if these because of different colors on each side and one side with markings and the other plain. I've also heard Pot Lids as a possibility. The first four pictures are personal finds. The last one is from Missouri and are all Pottery.
 

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