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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


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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Manuscript; Single vellum bifolio of Besa's Life of Shenoute; Sahidic script recto and verso.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC (Based on comparison with Hamouli Library (Shore 1979))
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 61 centimetres (frame)
    • Width: 38 centimetres (frame)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        both sides
      • Inscription Language

  • Bibliography

    • Shore 1979 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    Papyrus Survey: Condition Details: Papyrus: charred, cockled, fractured, fragmentary, insect attack, loss Iron gall ink (loss) Adhered: glass Pigments Tabbed: courtplaster Mount Details: Sandwich: glass Binding: cloth Object Priority: B Mount Priority: A Overall Condition: B Curatorial condition comment: incomplete - lacunae

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Life of Shenoute
  • Acquisition notes

    Registered in 1971 (see Shore 1979).

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: YCA69474

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