Emily Teeter/Oriental Institute

Just for fun? At least one circular-shaped board game is known from antiquity, the mehen game. The snakes on this alabaster mehen board gracefully illustrates the game’s name, which means “to coil” or “Coiled One” in Egyptian. Mehen originated in Egypt during the Predynastic period (fourth millennium B.C.E.) and spread through the Levant. The Qumran roundel, according to author Abraham Levy, is far more likely to be a board for a game similar to mehen than a sundial.