Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Lifestyle and Recreation Research Article from World Eras

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Ball Games. Little evidence relating to Mesopotamian sports has survived from the ancient Near East. Clay and faience balls have been excavated, but the rules for the games played with them are not clear. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, king Gilgamesh wears out the young men by playing a kind of human polo, riding on their backs while hitting a puck with a stick.

Individual Sports. Aside from the royal hunt, sports were often ritualistic. Seals and sculpture show wrestling and boxing matches between real and mythical creatures. A ritual text from Mari (circa eighteenth century B.C.E.) describes wrestlers, gymnasts, and jugglers performing in the Temple of Ishtar. Gymnasts appear on reliefs in Anatolia. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, king Gilgamesh and his comrade Enkidu engage in a wrestling match. At Ugarit in western Syria, circa 1500 - circa 1200 B.C...

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This section contains 250 words
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