Seniausieji Lietuvos šachmatai

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Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Seniausieji Lietuvos šachmatai
Alternative Title:
Oldest examples of chess in Lithuania
In the Journal:
Lietuvos archeologija. 2008, t. 34, p. 59-104
Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė. LDK (XIII a. – 1569) / Grand Duchy of Lithuania. GDL; Trakai; Vilnius. Vilniaus kraštas (Vilnius region); Lietuva (Lithuania); Rusija (Россия; Russia; Russia; Rossija; Rusijos Federacija; Rossijskaja Federacija); Archeologiniai tyrinėjimai / Archaeological investigations; Laisvalaikis / Leisure.
Summary / Abstract:

LTRemiantis archeologiniais radiniais straipsnyje tyrinėjamas šachmatų atsiradimas bei raida dabartinės Lietuvos teritorijoje XIV-XVIII a. Analizuojamos skirtingų formų šachmatų figūros lyginamos su kitų Europos šalių archeologiniais radiniais. Taip mėginama atsekti galimus arealus, sąlygojusius figūrėlių pavidalo bei viso šachmatų žaidimo raidą Lietuvoje. Stengiamasi išskirti ir tik aptariamajam regionui būdingas šachmatų formas. Archeologijos duomenis papildant prieinama istoriografine ir ikonografine medžiaga, stengiamasi įvertinti žaidimo statusą bei populiarumą viduramžių ir naujųjų laikų Lietuvos visuomenėje. [Iš leidinio]Reikšminiai žodžiai: Šachmatai; Stalo žaidimai; Pramogos; Chess; Board games; Entertainment.

ENSubject of this work is chess pieces and boards that have been found during archaeological excavations. The geographical delimitations are the current territory of Lithuania, but the work also uses plentiful archaeological and iconographical sources from other European states for the purposes of analysis. Chronologically, the work investigates the period from the 14th to the 17th century inclusive, i.e. the Lithuanian Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. During archaeological research at Lithuanian sites dating to the 14th—18th centuries, 48 chess pieces or their fragments and 4 chess boards have been found. The figurines were made of bone/horn, wood, or stone and were mostly found in castles (38 items) and urban cultural layers (10 items). On the basis of the archaeological sources, three related styles of chess pieces that were common in Lithuania in 14th-18th centuries can be distinguished: the realistic style, the Oriental style, and the modern abstract style. So far no reliable evidence exists about the spread of realistic style chess pieces in Lithuania. Only 1 fragment of a stone figurine, which dates to the late 14th - early 16th century and can be attributed to this style, has been found (Table 1, Fig. 6). The Oriental abstract style is represented by 4 figurines found at Vilnius Lower Castle (Table 2, Fig. 7). One 14th—15th century wooden king or queen is very similar in style to the Novgorod modification of the Oriental abstract style of chess pieces. It is presumable that Oriental abstract style chess pieces were the first to reach Lithuania. They were probably introduced from Ancient Russia. Most historical and archaeological information in Lithuania is related to the modern abstract style of chess.An analysis of 43 chess pieces and their fragments that date to the late 14th-18th centuries reveals a marked difference in the form of artefacts from the 14th-16th and 17th-18th centuries. This allows us to divide the pieces into two chronologically and stylistically different groups. From among the 39 late 14th-16th centuries chess pieces with very different forms, only one numerous and stylistically homogeneous group could be identified. This is represented by 10 bone chess pieces, which were widespread not only in the territory of Lithuania but also throughout Eastern Europe. The distinctive feature of these items is one or several layers of cones and mushroomshaped tops. The number of such figurines that have been found in Lithuania makes it possible to reconstruct several versions of a hypothetical chess set from the 15th-16th centuries. The reconstructed set may serve as a relative example of a chess set used in Lithuania and maybe even throughout Eastern Europe. However, a large number of the figurines do not statistically correspond to the theoretical set model. This proves that chess shapes in Lithuania and the surrounding region were very different and there was no single dominant shape. There are more written sources about chess in Lithuania in the 17th-18th centuries compared to the previous period. However, scarce archaeological items do not reflect the presumed chess piece variety in this period. Four figurines that have been found may be stylistically divided into two groups (Table 4; Fig. 21). The first is characterized by proportionally tall and narrow shapes and the second by bulky shapes with spherical bodies. Unfortunately, it is not possible to present more detailed conclusions about chess pieces in the 17th-18th centuries.Information about chessboards in Lithuania is scarce as only four chessboard fragments have been found to date. One was a high quality glazed clay board that dates to the second half of the 15th century and was probably imported. The other three are stone boards dating to the second half of the 17th century. The geographical and quantitative spread of both chess pieces and boards shows that the game was popular throughout the territory of Lithuania. Most of the figurines were found at Vilnius and Trakai castles, but this may also be linked to the particularly extensive archaeological research at these sites. The majority of the figurines, as many as 38, were found at castle sites and only 10 in urban cultural layers. Thus, it is presumable, although not definite, that the game was more popular among the educated courtiers, noblemen, and their entourage. It is also possible that the soldiers deployed at these sites could have played the game. [From the publication]

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2014-01-19 10:39:23
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