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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Carol Michaelson


Department: Asian 


+44 (0)20 7323 8431

Carol has degrees in Western history and Chinese language and culture and has worked in the British Museum since 1990 where she researches Chinese jades and early Chinese material. She opened a new gallery of Chinese jade in November 2002.

Currently she is working with the Department of Conservation, Documentation and Science on papers related to the chronology of jade tool working and also on cast iron. Two of these were published in 2003 and 2004, and two more are forthcoming in 2007.

Carol is also managing the project of digitizing the department's Central Asian material: the first part is already online, and the second part, the three-dimensional material, is due to go on line during 2007. Part of this programme has included organizing the visit of a Chinese specialist to research the British Museum's early Chinese textiles and overseeing the in-put of this research onto the Museum's database and website in both Chinese and English.

Current projects

  • Researching Chinese jades and organizing new departmental initiatives with regard to the Chinese collections as a whole.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

  • Trustee of Sassoon ivory collection

  • Member of finance committee, Oriental Ceramic Society (previously President)

  • Member British Association of Chinese Studies

Recent publications

C. Michaelson, Gilded Dragons: Buried Treasures from China’s Golden Ages, exhibition catalogue (British Museum Press, 1999)

C. Michaelson, Chinese Art in Detail with J. Portal, (British Museum Press, 2006)

C. Michaelson, 'Chinese Jades from the Neolithic to the Qing', Minerva magazine, Volume 6, 4 (July/August 1995) pp 32-7

C. Michaelson, 'Some Early Chinese Jades in the Hotung Collection and the British Museum', Apollo Magazine (1995)