Comparative Guts

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Kotsanas’ wooden reproduction of the stomachion

A modern reproduction of Archimedes’ stomachion

Copyright: Collection and Archive of Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology (

The image shows a reproduction of the stomachion game located in the K. Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in Heraklion, Crete. This wooden artefact consists of a square geometric structure divided into fourteen triangular and polygonal tesserae with different sized angles. Engineer Kostas Kotsanas made the faithful reproduction based on information contained in the Arabic manuscript edited by H. Suter which handed down part of Archimedes treatise called stomachion.

From another manuscript, in which the incipit and a minimal initial part of the treatise in Greek are preserved, it can be deduced that one of the aims of the game was to reassemble the initial square through rotations and rearrangements of the individual tesserae, which could be removed from their original position.