A study published in Antiquity looks at board games and traces their spread from ancient Mesopotamia through medieval Europe and into 20th century America.
Board games probably originated in ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia and were a past time of the elite. Their popularity spread with the Roman Empire.
There is no evidence of board games in the UK until the 1st century BCE, when glass counters laid out for game play are found in a tomb in Colchester, England. In the early middle ages, regional influences effect the development of games as pieces take on the artistic look of the area they are found in. [photo]