Archaeologists thought they had it figured out, and the British Museum has long claimed it as evidence of early chess games.

But in their latest wheeze in the run-up to the May Merrie, the Seething Festival gang have challenged the academic status quo by unearthing what they say is a totally different game.

The carved stone figure, according to the Free University of Seething, was used as a marketing ploy designed centuries ago to promote Kingston.

It was uncovered during a riverside expedition on Monday.

Seething scholars believe the figures were also used to play the popular Crown Those Saxon Kings game.

Head of Ancient Artifacts Andrew Connolly said: “This is an astounding discovery. We currently have a team of archeological game re-creators building a reproduction of the game that we hope will be ready to play at this year’s May Merrie.

“It will be quite a day for present-day Kingston visitors to play a game that their ancestors played.”

The Kingston May Merrie will take place on May 6, between noon and 5pm. There will be activities for all ages from Old London Road to the Riverside.

This year’s theme is “play”, and the event will include giant versions of Hungry Hippos, Magnetic Fishing, Kerplunk – plus, of course, Crown Those Saxon Kings.

Visit for more information.