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Hanan – Don’t leave your toys behind! (1998)

In the last Qadmoniot issue, describing the results of the recent excavation at Tell Beth Shemesh, I found one item especially interesting, as it reflects daily life and culture of the site. The find is a broken piece of a clay playing bard, a common type of game known from many sites in Biblical Israel. Perhaps it could be compared to the modem, popular game of backgammon.

But on the side of the ancient game piece the word “Hanan” was written, in paleo-Hebrew letters. The broken game piece was found in a pit outside a big (public?) building, probably an outdoor area.

Using creative imagination I can see the poor kid Hanan forgetting his game outside while running home for supper, then having another kid or the street cleaner throwing it aside and breaking it. Hanan cried when he realized he left his game board behind, and his parents were angry at him for loosing the expensive toy.

Could he imagine that his game board will be recovered, but only 2600 years later?..

The game board fragment found in Beth-shemesh, with it's probable owner's name "Hanan" chiseled on the side.
The game board fragment found in Beth-shemesh, with it’s probable owner’s name “Hanan” chiseled on the side.