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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Limewood panel bearing portrait in encaustic and tempera of naked young man with curly hair.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 80-120
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 35.8 centimetres
    • Width: 20.75 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.15 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    S. Walker and M. Bierbrier, Fayum. Misteriosi volti dall'Egitto, London 1997, p. 76 [48].

  • Bibliography

    • Walker & Bierbrier 1997 24 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    1997 15 Oct-1998 30 Apr, Italy, Rome, Fondazione Memmo, Ancient Faces

  • Condition


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    24 June 1996

    Treatment proposal

    Clean, relay flakes, check splits.


    Surface slightly dirty, and paint flaking from surface.

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned by brushing with a soft brush. paint flakes re-attached to sub-strate with Vinamul 3252 (vinyl acetate,ethylene copolymer) in distilled water.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Portraits NG 1267-1270 were purchased by the National Gallery in 1888 from Petrie for a total of 95l. See information from the NG on file [Nov 2005, NCS]. AES Archive 548.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • National Gallery 1268


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: YCA66277

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