Greek Terracotta Game Table, Archaic Period, Early 6th Century BC
Decorated with a series of seven seated lions and a swan. 28cm x 20.3cm, 12.8cm high
Game tables such as this are thought to have been part of the funerary offerings during the Archaic period in Attica. Miniature clay tables have been found in offering deposits at the Kerameikos and at Vari, with figures of weeping mourners on the top. In both cases they were accompanied by small clay dice, leading to their interpretation as game tables. It has been suggested that their presence in funerary contexts reflects how the Greeks of this period saw board games as a metaphor for life and death.