The oldest balls known in Eurasia are 7-9 cm in diameter, made of leather filled with fur and wool, and they can definitely be rides. It was found in a tomb around 3000 years old.
We do not know exactly who and when the first ball was made, it is possible that the first ball currently known was made about 4,500 years ago and came from an Egyptian site. We also know that in Central America, at least 3,700 years ago, ball games were played on dedicated courts, and instead of Egyptian cloth balls, these sports or games were made of rubber.
In Eurasia, on the other hand, to our knowledge, ball games began to be played much later, the ancient Greeks about 2,500 years ago, and from China even 300 years later, the first results indicate this. Now, however, people seem to have played ball in Eurasia much earlier.
From Chinese cartoons, it was known until now that the equestrian peoples living on the northern and eastern borders of China played a kind of ball control game with bats while riding, similar to the current equestrian polo game, which could then be taken more by the Chinese. So, when three leather balls filled with fur and wool, 7-9 cm in diameter, were found filled with fur and wool in the early 2000s from one of the so-called Yanghai tombs near Turpan, a Uyghur city inhabited by the Uyghurs for completely different reasons. Today, the discovery alone was not surprising.
The nearly three thousand burial sites to which this summary refers, spanning nearly a thousand and a half years, and archaeologists have long assumed that they are facing a discovery that fits the chronology prior to the spread of ball games. This year, however, new methods were used to more accurately determine the age of the balls, and it turns out
They were made sometime between 2,900 and 3,200 years ago, making them the oldest spheres discovered in Eurasia.
Incidentally, the grave belongs to a man in his 40s who, in addition to the balls, had ornate trousers lined and supported around his thigh to ride, as well as a pair of red leather shoes, presumably his last resting place for one of the wealthiest people in the area.
Even the Hungarians?
The locals may have been the first or among the first to domesticate horses in this area, and all evidence indicates that the balls were used for the sport seen in the Chinese photographs. Although bounded Swiss researchers say “there is no clear evidence that they played with balls, and if so, what kind of game”, another historian commenting on the results said it was clearly a sporting good. Just like a strong blow from a wooden paddle shreds the material, the balls are coated with red crosses, which definitely made it more visible to players in the dust that the horses flogged.
Regardless of this, unfortunately, we do not know the course and rules of the game, but based on later examples, we can assume that it served both the entertainment and the development of the knights ’tactical and technical knowledge on the battlefield, and possibly the social and ceremonial significance.
Although this evidence does not yet relate to the early history of Hungary, we can play around with the idea that the early Hungarians, who were related to the equestrian peoples of Central Asia, may have practiced similar sports themselves, so in addition to horses, ball games may have millennial traditions. In Hungarian culture.
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