Marbles/other games...

dr Hoffpauir env_drh at
Fri Feb 16 07:27:58 PST 1996

>Does anyone know the history of marbles?  You know, the round ones you used
>to roll around and play with as a kid.  Also, if they are period, how were
>they played?

        You realize you'll not get out of this without someone asking if
you've lost a few.  
        I do know that marbles were common in pre-Columbian and North
American Indian cultures.  I've seen both ceramic and stone.  The game 
was played similarly, but marbles were knocked into a depression or hole
poked into dirt with a finger (sounds like golf with multiple balls and 
no clubs).  The Columbian's had a variation played like bocci ball with 
fist-size, round stones.
        Checking into the origins of bocci ball might give you some answers
too.  After all bocci is just marbles for adults who are too stiff to kneel
        I've got a stone Indian marble that I can show you some time.  It's
pretty non-discript.  What makes it interesting to me is that I found it in
the creek bank that runs through my property.  The county historical survey
indicates several occupation times of this area from pre-lithic (4000 b.c.)
to about 1000 years ago.  Just when my lost marble was used is not for me to

Come see us sometime,
David St. David, Raven's Fort          

David R. Hoffpauir                    | Intergraph Mapping Sciences Lab
-Oracle/Geographic Information System | -Mapping and Modeling for 
(GIS) Database Administrator          | Environmental Applications 
-Texas Regional Institute for         |     
Environmental Studies (TRIES)-        |    
-Sam Houston State University         |   
Huntsville, TX 77341                  |    
env_drh at                      |
(409) 294-3976                        |  

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