Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
People have been playing with marbles since ancient times. These small, solid spheres are among the oldest playthings discovered. The first “marbles” may have been round seeds and nuts, gathered from the ground and rolled or thrown. Marbles is a game rich in tradition and lore. The game has been played in much the same way throughout history, and its traditions have been passed down through countless generations to the present day, when it is played in schoolyards, streets, parks and wherever there is space to play freely and to scratch a ring in the ground. No one knows when marbles were first used in play, but archaeological evidence suggests they have been around for at least 5,000 years. The oldest marbles discovered, a set of small stone balls and rectangular blocks dating from 4000 b.c.e, were found in the grave of a child in Nagada, Egypt. The blocks may ...