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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

    A pear shaped mace-head of red breccia: with a carefully polished surface. The vertical perforation bears the marks of rotary drilling, carried out in one direction from the bottom to the top.

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 6.9 centimetres
    • Diameter: 6.3 centimetres (max)
  • Curator's comments

    Nicholson and Shaw, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Cambridge 2000), p. 43

  • Bibliography

    • Spencer 1980 591 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Condition

    incomplete - no handle. Good condition

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    14 May 1993

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal



    Surface dirt and lettering.

    Treatment details

    Cleaned using linament of soap removed with white spirit and swabbed over with acetone. Renumbered on base with Rowney Cryla-flow artists acrylic paints. Treatment effective.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • 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: YCA63642

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