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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


Paul Roberts

Senior curator,
Head of the Roman collections

Department: Greece and Rome 


+44 (0)20 7323 8475


Paul Roberts is a Senior curator in the Department of Greece and Rome and is head of the Roman collections. He is interested generally in the art and archaeology of the Roman world but his research focuses on the material, day-to-day lives of ordinary people.

Particular research interests include Roman glass, pottery and bronze, trade, Pompeii and Herculaneum and the mummy portraits of Roman Egypt. More broadly he is interested in the Roman Mediterranean and has taken part in excavations in Greece, Libya and Turkey.

He has excavated widely in Italy and is particularly interested in the history and archaeology of Rome, the Bay of Naples and Sicily. Currently he is preparing a major exhibition on daily life in Pompeii and Herculaneum to be held in the British Museum in 2013.

Paul studied at Cambridge University, then lived and studied in Italy for six years before returning to studies at the Universities of Sheffield and Oxford. He joined the British Museum in January 1994.

Current projects

Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum, exhibition, 28 March – 29 September 2013

Excavations at Forum Novum/Vescovio in Lazio, Italy

Previous projects

Catalogue of Roman Cameo Glass in the British Museum Co-curator: Ancient Faces exhibition (1997) with Susan Walker and Morris Bierbrier Co-curator: Gladiators and Caesars exhibition (2000) with Ralph Jackson

Recent publications

P, Roberts, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (British Museum Press 2013)

P, Roberts, with V. Baldwin, Art in Pompeii and Herculaneum (British Museum Press 2013)

P, Roberts, Catalogue of the Cameo Glass in the British Museum, with V. Tatton-Brown, W. Gudenrath and D. Whitehouse (British Museum Press 2010)

P, Roberts, The Ancient Romans, Their Lives and Their World (British Museum Press 2009)

P, Roberts (ed) with S. Quirke and J. Picton, Living Images at the Petrie Museum: Mummy Portraits Published in Honour of Barbara Adams (Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press 2007)

P, Roberts, Pocket Dictionary of Roman Emperors (British Museum Press 2006)

P, Roberts, ‘“Singing all summer and dancing all winter”, a group of lead-glazed ware vessels in the British Museum’ in N.Crummy (ed.) Image, Craft and the Classical World. Essays in Honour of Donald Bailey and Catherine Johns. Instrumentum, monograph 29. 2006, 23-38 (2006)

P, Roberts, ‘Forum Novum - Vescovio: studying urbanism in the TiberValley’, with V.Gaffney and H.Patterson, JRA, 14 (2001) pp. 59-79