Medieval chess piece discovered

In a recent dig at Wallinford Museum a small medieval Arabic chess piece was discovered. Closer examination revealed it was made from the tip of an antler. Once the artefact was cleaned up it was identified as a gaming piece, highly decorated with ring and dot designs.

Chess bishop piece found in Wallingford (by Oxford Times)
Chess bishop piece found in Wallingford (by Oxford Times)

It is one of only about 50 medieval chess pieces found in England and, at only 21.7 mm high, it is unique in being the smallest medieval Arabic chess piece known in the country. It is dated to 12th-13th century. It was identified as a bishop and it can be estimated that the other pieces in the set must have been really small as well – it may also have been part of a travelling set. Archaeologist suspect that further pieces can be found when a second dig will be carried out in July.

 (after Oxford Times)

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