History Of The Board

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“The History of the Board”

 

            To fully understand and appreciate the modern board’s origins, you have to start at where the board was originated. For that we take a step back to what we know as “the past”.

            The earliest known record of boards archeologists have discovered date back to 2700 B.C. At the excavation site in 1948 A.D. of the great pyramid of Khufu, archeologists and great scholars alike were puzzled at a discovery in the king’s chamber. Unaware to the sheer magnitude of what they had just found, they compared this oddly adorned “board” to the skateboards of today. Noting that the board had been tinted with a green color and had funeral decorations carved into it, they became curious about possible uses for this ancient board and why it was placed with the great pharaoh in his final resting place. After uncovering the sarcophagus, they found startling hieroglyphics carved on the lid. After further excavation, they discovered an entire chamber of previously unseen hieroglyphics adorning every corner of the walls. Placed in the center of this chamber was a missing piece of the Rosetta Stone that scholars had deemed lost for hundreds of years. After reading and deciphering this, some startling revelations were made.

            The board was a part of every day life, and afterlife, of every Egyptian citizen. It was a necessary item for life to flourish, and ultimately became the item which caused the civilizations demise. A multi-purpose tool and transportation device,  whether getting around to accomplish your daily tasks or making the final journey with Osiris to the after world. For everyday life, the board would provide transportation when fashioned with wheels made from wood and attached to the board with the very same reeds they made papyrus with. The use of the board for transporting goods was essential to the ancient economy. When tethered together, sometimes as many as 25 boards at a time, they were a mobile market carrying everything from figs to fish to beer. Transporting these goods efficiently and safely across the village meant the citizens had all the food and beer they wanted, and the excess they had was very valuable for trading with neighboring villages. Construction of the great pyramids of Giza wouldn’t have been possible if the board had not existed. Monstrous in their size, although the general shape and proportion remained the same, the stone boards were used to move the huge slabs of limestone that make up every single pyramid known throughout Egypt. These boards had massive wheels made of whole logs that had been smoothed out and would take an average of 20 men just to move a single one of these while loaded with a limestone slab. Allowing quick transport and using 1/4th the manpower it took for men to drag these across the ground with a rope, the sheer size and speed at which these great pyramids of Giza went up is just staggering. The largest pyramid, the pyramid of Khufu, took only 2 years from start to finish.

            As life’s end was near, ancient Egyptians would reach out to the god of the underworld, Osiris. Adorned on statues with green skin to signify re-birth, Osiris would rise from the dead and join with the soul of the recently departed and together they would make the journey to the great beyond. It seems only fitting that the same tool they used to get around in everyday life, would be the ideal tool to transport them to the afterlife. These funeral boards, or Osiris boards, were painted green to match the skin of Osiris and signify that the soul using this board was going to be re-born into the afterlife.

            After all of the hieroglyphics had been translated, another very important discovery was made. There was a book hidden in the back corners of the Library of Alexandria thought to be of a dialect different that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. After the discovery of the missing link to the Rosetta Stone, the book was deciphered in its entirety. Telling of the great importance of the board and all of the valuable roles it played in the societies of lost. It went on to describe how the Egyptians had made a pledge to Maahes, the god of war, that in exchange for his great gift of the board, they would never forsake or take for granted this board or his generosity. After using the board for several hundreds of years, the importance of paying homage to Maahes and his great gift fell by the wayside replaced with animals and sheer laziness. The Egyptians were using water buffalos to pull giant wagons to transport goods, using them to move limestone for their great monuments, and had almost completely forgotten about the importance of the board and the consequences of a lazy lifestyle. Maahes in a fit of rage went to the underworld to convene with Osiris. Osiris was furious that many of the boards that had been forsaken were adorned with the same color that made up his entire being. Even more so that the tool that made the final and greatest journey possible seemed to have lost all it’s meaning to the people of Egypt. Osiris agreed with Maahes that the time had come to cleanse the land. With one single command, Osiris summoned all of the undead to rise out of the great sands of Giza. Forsaking the most vital part of your existence proved to be a mortal sin for ancient Egypt and every citizen in it. “When the sands cleared and the dust settled, time and earth both stood silently, for all to be seen was sand and nothing more.”

We have learned from the ancient mistakes that lead to possibly the greatest civilization of all time’s demise. We shall never make the same mistakes and forsake the greatest invention and gift of all time. For if we do, the possible consequences could have grave results.

Shortly after this discovery in the early 1950’s, the first modern board was made. Given the name skateboard, for the simple reason that the board used the wheels from a roller skate. This re-invention took off like a wildfire, and has now again become a staple of modern day life. Although the materials and riding styles have changed, the same devotion and respect for the board shared almost 5000 years ago remain as strong as ever. So next time you jump on a board, take a minute and pay homage to the great civilization that gave birth to such an amazing invention, and arguably the most important of all recorded history.


Casey Bickel
Really Board Sports General Manager/Custom Artist
RAGTeam member since 2008
Owner/Operator/Lead kicker of asses for Liberator Securities

 

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