The 'Hounds & Jackals' 'splash' screen

Note: The images on this homepage and subsequent pages are copyrighted: copyright 1996 P.S. Neeley, all rights reserved.


May the king of Egypt be gracious to me,

that I may live on his grace.

May I greet the Mistress of the Land who is in his palace,

and hear the behests of her children. Then may my limbs grow young again;

for old age has descended;

weakness has overtaken me,

my eyes are heavy and my arms faint;

my legs fail to follow, my heart weary;

I am near to death!

May they conduct me to the Cities of Eternity,

may I follow the Lady to the Limit,

Then may she tell me that all is well with her children;

may she traverse eternity over me!

(From the 'Tale of Sinuhe')

Hounds & Jackals for Windows

Board games were immensely popular games in ancient Egypt -- two of these, Senet and a game we can only refer to as 'The twenty squares game' were played from 3000 B.C. and are some of the oldest known games. But around 1300 B.C., another game, whose Egyptian name is lost in antiquity, appears in the record and is known today by Egyptologists only as the 'Hounds & Jackals' game because of its unique hound and jackal headed playing pieces.

'Hounds & Jackals' is a distinctively Egyptian game that appears to have spread from Egypt into surrounding areas controlled or influenced by the ancient Egyptian empire. It is also the earliest known example, and possible the original form, of the 'Snakes and Ladders' game, and thus has particular appeal since these types of game are even today among the most popular games of chance.

The game is a race game between a team of five Jackals and a team of five Hounds (originally peg playing pieces) around a palm tree or oasis and along a peculiar shaped 'Track' (originally a series of peg holes in a playing board). The object of the game being to get your five pieces around the track and onto the 'Shen' hieroglyph -- which means 'encircling' or 'surrounding all that exists'. The game requires strategy in the face of whimsical chance, the chance coming from the throw of two knucklebones which were an ancient form of dice.

'Hounds & Jackals' is probably the most 'Egyptian' of games in the popular view and is readily recognized as 'Egyptian' by many, otherwise normal, people ;- ) This is no doubt because of the distinctive look of the game and also because Hollywood has immortalized it in its movies -- a good example being the charming sequence of a game between Seti and Nefertari about 34 minutes into 'The Ten Commandments'.

'Hounds & Jackals' was played in Egypt for more than 1800 years. Now it is here again in the present, re-created through the magic of electrons and phosphorus, for you to play.

Welcome to a game of the ancients -- Seti, Nefertari, Ramses the Great, and now you!

Will you have the courage to face the 'glitter in the dunes' and the sinister power of an ancient and evil gift from a Nubian sorcerer to the Pharaoh?

Download it right from here ( hj.zip -- 632 Kb)

Interested in just the rules and history of the game?  Then download just the Windows Help file if you'd like.

Note: This program requires VBRUN300.DLL to exist on your system.

Looking for 'Ancient Egypt' on the Web? Any of the following are great starting points: