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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

 

Henry Salt's firman


Henry Salts firman


EA 74092


Henry Salt (1780-1827) was a key figure in the history of the Egyptian collections of the British Museum. This document is the firman (letter of instruction) from Sultan Mahmud confirming Salt's appointment as British Consul.

In 1817 Salt wrote to the Earl of Mountnorris that he had begun to collect antiquities due to the 'lack of good society' in Egypt and also to provide himself with a means of income for when he retired or returned to England. Salt employed men such as Giovanni Belzoni to excavate at sites including Thebes, Giza and Abu Simbel, and was responsible for engaging Belzoni to move the upper part of a colossal statue of Ramesses II from Thebes, known as the 'Younger Memnon', now in the British Museum. In 1825, Salt published an essay on the decipherment of hieroglyphs, a subject at the forefront of research at the time.

Although he had been encouraged to collect by Joseph Banks, there were prolonged problems about the cost when he offered his first collection to the Trustees of the British Museum. It was eventually acquired in 1823, but the subsequent collection went to the Louvre in Paris. The third was sold after his death, in 1835, and many pieces were acquired by the British Museum.