Photo: Lincolnshire County Council.
As noted by the archaeologists in England, at least since the XV century there was a custom in the construction of buildings to hide in this particular item, which was supposed to protect the house from supernatural dangers. Often, it was worn shoes, vessels of unusual shape or animal bones, but scientists speculate that discovered chess pieces could be suitable for this role.
The title “Queen” comes from the Persian word ferz, which translates as “commander” or “vizier”, but in many countries, corresponding to chess figure, officially or unofficially, referred to as “the Queen.” Elephant figure has an even greater variety of titles in different languages. In Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria it is often referred to as “officer”, in France — “clown” in Germany – the “runner” in Estonia – “a spear”, and in English-speaking countries – “the Bishop.” It is assumed that initially the figure really was called an elephant, but on the figure as the legend was leaving only two tusks, and “forked” shape in ancient times reminded the people of England of a Catholic Bishop .
Anyway, the figures, located at the disposal of scientists, rather “realistic” to depict a woman in a crown and a man in a headdress of a Bishop, laid hands in prayer. Under the assumption of archeologists, the first of these figures was chosen as a talisman, because it could play the role of the virgin Mary, and in the case of the second choice looks more obvious.
It is curious that, according to one version, the word ferz after the introduction of chess into France was gradually transformed into a French word vierge, which translates as “virgin”, and only after this figure in many European countries, became known as the “Queen.”
Last year the experts conducting excavations on the territory Girskogo Abbey in Scotland, discovered a stone Board that was destined for hnefatafl — skandinavskiy Board game, sometimes called “Viking chess”. And a year earlier, the Russian archeologists have found in Moscow in the street Prechistenka hollow chess piece of the elephant made of bone, inside which was hidden the treasure of the ten silver coins of manual calking. The find dates back to the middle of the XVI century during the reign of Ivan the terrible.
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