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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


Relief from the mastaba of Werirenptah

Relief from the mastaba of Wer

EA 718

Close to the pyramids were mortuary temples surrounded by large cemeteries of mastaba tombs for the burials of high officials and tombs cut out of the rock for minor family members, courtiers, minor officials and priests.

A mastaba is a type of free-standing tomb used for both royal and private burials. They are rectangular in plan, with the sides sloping in and a flat-topped mud-brick or stone superstructure containing offering chambers, all placed over a shaft leading to a subterranean burial chamber.

This example belonged to Werirenptah, a man who was a middle-ranking official, and who held the title of 'priest of Re and Hathor in the sun-temple of [King] Neferirkare'. Such priests were not those who carried out the daily rituals, but officials who had been favoured by the king by being allowed to receive some of the revenues from that temple.

The mastaba consists of a main wall with two false doors that serve as offering places. The false doors are accompanied by scenes of offering, butchers, and also dancing and music-making. Other walls show agricultural scenes and preparation of the funeral equipment.

On display: Room 4: Egyptian sculpture