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Ostomachion- the battle of the bones

Ostomachion the battle of the bones

Ostomachion was originally derived from Greek language, which means 'bone fight'. It was a puzzle game introduced during Byzantine empire (eastern part of Roman empire). But this game was most known from the Archimedes mathematical study.

The game consist of 14 ivory pieces of various polygonal shapes, originally forming the square. The aim of the game was to form interesting things by replacing all pieces in as many possible ways. They used the square of figures like helmet, a tree, a goose in flight, a tower, a column, an elephant, a boar, a barking dog and a stalking hunter.

Archimedes simply explored the Geometric aspects of the game. He demonstrated that, for each of the 14 piece, the area of the square is an integer multiple of the area of each piece. The name of the game in ancient Latin was called Loculus Archimedes or Archimedes Box. In Greek it was referred as Stomachion.

This puzzle game doesn't create a great impact among people. Because he was not trying to piece together the strips of paper into different shapes; but he was trying to see how many ways the 14 irregular strips could be put together to make a square.

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