Turkey: Ancient stone tablet inscribed with rules of racing

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The tablet states some of the earliest rules of racing

  PICTURE: AAPhotos 

A 2,000-year-old stone tablet discovered among the ruins of a stadium in Turkey has been found to be inscribed with the ancient rules of racing.

Historians recently spotted the tablet carved into a monument in memory of Lukuyanus, a Roman jockey, in BeyÅŸehir, a district in the central Turkish province of Konya.

The inscriptions, which state some of the earliest rules of racing, certainly make for interesting reading.

They state: “A horse cannot compete in another race if it finishes first in any given race. An owner cannot have another horse compete in one race if he or she owns a previous winner.”

Racing’s modern day powerhouses may have not enjoyed those rules, though it is clear racing was much more open two millenniums ago.

Professor Hasan Bahar, who works in the history department of Konya’s Selçuk University, feels the inscriptions signify the “gentlemanly conduct” of the sport.

Bahar told Daily Sabah: “This is a sign of gentlemanly conduct in the races. It offers a chance for others to win as well, unlike modern races.

“This is the first time I have encountered such clear rules for a sport in a tablet this old.”

 

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