What Did the Ancient Egyptians Do for Fun?

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The ancient Egyptians enjoyed sports and board games. They are responsible for introducing many of the rules still observed in sports today, including the concept of team uniforms and neutral referees.

Board games began as a way of teaching military strategy to soldiers in ancient Egypt. They became, however, a way for Egyptians to entertain themselves. Although many of the sports in which ancient Egyptians engaged are the same that are still played in modern times, they did have some that are unique to their culture. Equilibrium was a sport in which two standing players would hold the wrists of two players that would lean back sharply. The goal was for the two standing players to keep the leaning players from falling to the ground while all players rotated, achieving balance and equilibrium. The ancient Egyptians also enjoyed a version of tug-of-war. In the Egyptian version of the game, a rope was not used. Rather, the two front players in a single file line would hold hands, and everyone behind them would pull. Entertainment and recreation in ancient Egyptian society were primarily intended to maintain a healthy body and mind. Boys’ sports tended to be more physical than those of girls, which sometimes bordered upon being violent.