Prizes for the Forrest Fenn Egg Hunt Decorating Contest Announcement

Win San Lazaro Pueblo Artifacts dating back to before 1650 AD and a Signed book by Forrest Fenn

The Winners of ‘who will create the most unique egg picture from the most unique finds’ will receive the following:  (contest rules and way to submit an entry can be found ‘here’)

For the winning Children’s Entry:

Three ONE OF A KIND San Lazaro Pueblo (1150AD-1650 AD) ‘Gaming Pieces’ (shown below in the shapes of a circle, square, and triangle) found by Forrest Fenn himself.  Also a signed book by Forrest entitled; ‘The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo’.

San Lazaro Pueblo Gaming Pieces (children's entry prize)

San Lazaro Pueblo Gaming Pieces (children’s entry prize)

The book details the numerous wonders of the Pueblo and includes an image of similar ‘gaming pieces’ that a winner will receive.  (a couple of random pottery sherds, small bone, and pebble from San Lazaro Pueblo will also be included in the Children’s winning prize for reasons stated below in the story on choosing the prize)

Signed book by Forrest: Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo

Signed book by Forrest: Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo


For the winning Adult’s Entry:

Three San Lazaro Pueblo ‘gaming pieces’ (shown below and also One of a Kind) and a signed book as well.

San Lazaro Pueblo gaming pieces (Adult entry prize)

San Lazaro Pueblo gaming pieces (Adult entry prize)


This is an amazing opportunity to win these fantastic artifacts found by Forrest Fenn!  I wish you all the best of luck.


Story on choosing the Prize:

When thinking of what the prizes should be for this contest, we knew they had to be something special and extraordinary.  I remembered back to one of the first times I had chatted with Forrest and knew then what I wanted the prize to be!

'Gaming Pieces' Image from book

‘Gaming Pieces’ Image from book

After learning about the Chase, I was researching his website where I came across the section on the San Lazaro Pueblo.  I found it so interesting, Forrest, as a private owner, was taking the best of care to excavate these ancient ruins.  What awesome work and historic discoveries he was accomplishing.  On one of the site’s pages were images of ‘gaming pieces’.  Thinking (mistakenly) at the time these were actual pieces used for games, and since I collect and research old games, I wrote to him to learn more about these fascinating items.

Forrest quickly, and sweetly, instructed me that these ‘Gaming Pieces’ were not ‘game pieces in the way I thought they were’, but were actually mysterious altered pottery sherds.  They call them that because they don’t know what else to call them.

Although it is certain they were intentionally shaped to their current form, and most likely were carefully chosen from San Lazaro Pueblo’s broken potteries because of their designs, the intended uses for these ‘Gaming Pieces’ remains unknown yet today.

Well, that just thrilled me more!  I thought they were the most charming things and I told Forrest that they should be used for ‘gaming pieces’ for a game I would create for them!  I’m still working on the game which will be called Fences (in dedication to Forrest FENN and his pieces).  But, Forrest was so generous to send me some ‘Gaming Pieces’ for the game! To which I fully treasure as if they were the treasure of The Thrill of the Chase.

Because the contest involves hunting for items, I thought it would be nice for the prize to be something Forrest hunted and found.   And because I loved the Gaming Pieces, I thought the Winners would love some too!  So the prize was chosen…..

However, there is one other reason for choosing ‘Gaming Pieces’ as the prize. This is based off of Forrest saying he played Monopoly as a child.  In the original Monopoly games, the gaming pieces players used to move around the board were not included.  Players were instructed to find their own gaming piece from around the house to use.

The small size of a Thimble made it a common choice for players of the time.  This is one of the reasons why a Thimble is one of the game pieces of Monopoly today.

This interesting tidbit of Monopoly history and connection to Forrest (he mentions playing the game), then had me think that a completely original ‘gaming piece’, that a child could choose when playing Monopoly like they used to do would be a neat prize.  All the more reason to involve San Lazaro Pueblo ‘gaming pieces’.

Realizing a player might not want to use the authentic formed ‘gaming pieces’ to move around the game board, random pottery sherds, a pebble, and small bone will also be included in the children’s prize for them to choose from and use as their pawn in a game, if wanted (any game really).

I can see it now, though, no more ‘I get the Scottie Dog’, it’s ‘I get the San Lazaro Pueblo ‘gaming piece’!

What Fun!

Again, Best of Luck to All!


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22 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    I’ll be posting some entries soon…..!! So exciting.

  2. Ramona says:

    Very interesting, worth playing for. <3

  3. Moonshadow says:

    Thanks Jenny for the post, I’m sure there will be many people after the prizes. 🙂

  4. Wendy Jo says:

    Great story Jenny, about what the gaming pieces mean to you and Forrest!

  5. Mark J says:

    I wish I had the time to come up with something for the contest. I would love a copy of ‘The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo’. Interesting story on the gaming pieces also Jenny.

  6. Mark J says:

    Great, now I cannot sleep because I am thinking of what these pieces might have been. Since effort was put into shaping them and removing sharp edges, they must have been used for something. Maybe it was as game pieces, but I also wonder if maybe they were used to identify ownership, such as if grain was stored in a communal place, maybe these pieces were put in a clay jar with the grain to identify the family that owned it. Maybe they were a type of accounting system.

    Mr. Fenn, if you are not busy, could you write a little more about these pieces?

    • Spallies says:

      Yes, Mark I would like to hear Forrest’s thoughts on these pieces as well, they do not seem random. I was wondering what percentage of the sherds were turned into these in his opinion… I know he can’t know for sure but just a rough guesstimate like 1% of the sherds or 85% of the sherds would be interesting to know…

      • Mark J says:

        I would like to know more about the location they were found and what else were with them. This reminds me of the little decorative cast balls they find in Europe. There is a big mystery about them also.

    • Jenny Kile says:

      It seems there were quite a few found and in various places. I like your thoughts on them being used for ‘accounting’ for something….

      The mystery of them adds to their allure…..I think they are such cool items.

  7. Tamara says:

    Or for something very practical like pattern templates that could be easily carried in the breeches/robes and copied over and over. Like fabric swatches today. For instance, if a pattern was indicative of a family or clan, like a clan/tartan still is in Scotland today. The next potter or generations of potters would have the pattern template to copy from. Giving them correct line widths (weights called today in CAD), colors and geometic arrangements and shapes. Rounding off the edges makes the longevity of the piece greater by removing potential stress points where fractures can occur. Like in current day concrete installations. The objective is to remove all sharp edges to reduce cracking and deterioration.

    • Spallies says:

      That is interesting tamara thanks for sharing. And maybe the different shapes the sherds are ground into represent what area or type of image is being saved. Each shape represents a different element of a design. Like the circles are the family or clan, the triangles are border images etc??? Just thinking out loud… I am sure I am way off but it’s fun to think about 🙂

  8. Jenny Kile says:

    Thought I would mention here because it was posted as a page: But entries are starting to come in!! There is a link in the sidebar under The Thrill of the Chase Hunt above Recent Posts.

    They are so awesome!

    Thank you to all who enter….it is so much fun. And of course Thank you to Forrest for help with the Prizes!! So unique.

    The mystery of the ‘Gaming Pieces’ does make them all the more special. I posted on Facebook how not only do you hold history in your hand, but you are holding a mystery too!

    best of luck to all!!

  9. Tamara says:

    Along those lines Spallies, I think. In most cases, if our theory is correct, they would have been ground alin the angular lines of the breakage to reduce effort. But special effort was probably employed to preserve certain ( round) images. Just a theory, after all.

  10. jack says:

    Reminds me of a jacks or better, two legs to win pot I latched onto once Or the time the misses and I went to Santa Fe in 2014 looking around, stuck a twenty in a penny machine and was down to my last 3 cents and hit the jackpot for 670…. if I had been all in would have been 20k. Santa Fe she really liked but at the time our income just couldn’t handle the strain….Odds are about the same with the Pai Gow if you dont throw any jokers in there, same odds different game hummmm.

  11. JC1117 says:

    It’s neat to see this topic raised again. I suppose one reason is because pottery shards were mentioned in the last question and answer with Forrest. It appears that pottery shards were also repurposed as gaming pieces…likely in the first Native American casinos. 🙂 I’m totally kidding about that!

    It’s also cool to see those game pieces once more and admire them. I have them with the copy of the book that my wife won in the egg decorating contest. I am very blessed to have them in my possession…while I’m still around to enjoy them. My wife is a great designer, and she has a gift for that kind of stuff.

    Thanks for the website, Jenny…and thanks to all those who contribute.

    Thank you

  12. QisDrench says:

    I love the story, beautiful pottery shards and game pieces. It reminds me of the Japanese art of Wabi Sabi, particularly the tea ceremony. To think of the reverence for a piece of clay and the metaphor of aging with acceptance of imperfection being glorified to the point of filling a crack in the teacup with gold. That kind of story outlasts us and the tiny sliver we cling to by breathing. I hope they cherish their winnings and count their days as blessed. Such a great blog! >Qis

  13. QisDrench says:

    They look similar to runes, or indigenous divination pieces. Could be money or counting markers. I once read marbles, or similar, was traded monetarily amongst tribes in South America, why not pottery shards?

  1. March 29, 2015

    […] Update: Prizes for the Forrest Fenn Egg Hunt Decorating Contest Announcement […]

  2. April 1, 2015

    […] Prizes for the Forrest Fenn Egg Hunt Decorating Contest Announced (Artifacts from San Lazaro Pueblo dating to before 1650 […]

  3. April 5, 2015
  4. April 21, 2015

    […] What did they win?  They will be receiving  3 Gaming Pieces from the San Lazaro Pueblo.  These artifacts are true mysterious objects and date back to before 1650 AD. They also will receive a signed book by Forrest Fenn (The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo).  (Images of prizes here) […]

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