The Royal Game of Ur, also known as the Game of Twenty Squares or simply the Game of Ur, is a two-player strategy race board game that was first played in ancient Mesopotamia during the early third millennium BC. The game was popular across the Middle East among people of all social strata and boards for playing it have been found at locations as far away from Mesopotamia as Crete and Sri Lanka. At the height of its popularity, the game acquired spiritual significance, and events in the game were believed to reflect a player's future and convey messages from deities or other supernatural beings. The Game of Ur remained popular until late antiquity, when it stopped being played, possibly evolving into, or being displaced by, an early form of backgammon. It was eventually forgotten everywhere except among the Jewish population of the Indian city of Kochi, who continued playing a version of it until the 1950s when they began emigrating to Israel.