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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


Glass perfume jar (alabastron)

Glass perfume jar (alabastron)

Length: 8.500 inches

Bequeathed by Felix Slade

GR 1869.6-24.16

The participants admired the beauty of this perfume jar and several others like it:

'Objects like these were made and traded in Syria-Palestine where the glass blowing technique was first developed. They are highly decorative and are beautiful pieces but if we consider the current situation in Palestine in particular, their origins may seem quite strange. Palestine serves as a good example as to what can happen when different peoples clash rather than co-operate.

The vessels remind us of a time when the Middle East was thriving and prospered with trade across many nations. This is a different picture of the Middle East than we are faced with today. The extreme hostilities between some Jews and Muslims in the area will hopefully one day be resolved and perhaps these beautiful objects which show the rich history of the area will help people realise that this history belongs to everyone.'

Sheetal and Anna - Hindu and Jewish

On display: Room 73: Greeks in Italy