Iberians and gambling

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Iberians and gambling
MAHE EXHIBITION: Marga Anton and Miguel Perez inspect the amphora depicting Achilles and Ajax Photo credit: Elche city hall

An ambitious Elche exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and History (MAHE), focuses on “The Iberian warrior and gambling.”

The exhibits are the result of collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum (MAN) in Madrid as well as archaeological museums in Mula and Jumilla (Murcia), Villajoyosa, Linares (Jaen) and Alicante University.

“Gambling is inherent in human beings but has its origins in mythology,” said Miguel Perez, director of the Elche museum.

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The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey that begins in the Sixth Century BC with an amphora found in Attica (Greece) that depicts Achilles and Ajax playing dice during the Trojan War.

The amphora is on loan from the MAN while other exhibits include carved gaming tokens, dice and knucklebones that have been found amongst the grave goods in 10 different Iberian tombs.

“This all demonstrates the importance of gaming in antiquity,” Perez said while lamenting that, given the absence of Iberian representations, images or texts it had been necessary to resort to its burials.


“I’m very pleased with the involvement of the other museums that have lent us the items that have made this exhibition possible,” commented Elche’s Culture councillor Marga Anton.

“This makes clear that they are aware of MAHE’s importance.”

The “El guerrero ibero y el juego” exhibition at the Museo Arqueológico y de Historia de Elche (MAHE) in Carrer Diagonal de la Pau is open to the public until September 30.



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Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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