Yes and no, but its there. It is widely considered that draughts were born using the rules of the alquerque, using a chess board and the, back then, tablas (backgammon) pieces, there is no doubt about this (this is why its given a few decades ahead to chess). Not far from where I live, you have a small taste of the XI/XII Century: before using boards, they simply carved the stone... any stone: these things are ANYWHERE! (what proves its popularity) http://juegosdetablerosromanosymedieval ... chive.html
The convenience of using the boards, and its adaptation, was a mere evolution of the same old game, described at the book of games. This is why it is considered this text as source of droughts, while they're not there, they are. But don't take my opinion:
http://www.origenvalencianodelajedrez.c ... erveld.pdf
in English: http://www.draughtshistory.nl/chapter06.htm
So yes, in that text you find droughts, but differently.
Besdes the book of games, you already have one of the oldest:
And the oldest, but, you put it "newer"
http://www.levante-emv.com/cultura/2010 ... 97896.html
(this one is not bad at all!!!)
Still, I just start to scratch the surface, preparing our section application dossier!
About other kind of material, here damas are not considered something for grown ups, just for kids... and very small! (4 or 5, before... chess!) Now, the winds are changing, since there is a reconnection with the past.
in general, i would say that now there is a back to the roots for traditional games, but damas is not exotic enough to be "trendy"!!!
PD1: Alquerques are all over, some are cataloged, others not... near my town, in a small creek, there are two... they just are there, witnessing history! Still, you found really d*mn historians that says these were pagan symbols or "occult" things... not a board game!
PD2: I'm talking about "alquerque de doce" (5x5) as the direct source of modern droughts (the game is undoubtedly, medieval, from the XII, and from Spain, not France)