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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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tunic / textile

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Long fragment of thick woollen cloth (a), fragment of a tunic, signs of wear apparent, light-yellow in colour with tapestry decoration, worked in purple-coloured, pink and dark-red wool and undyed (white) linen, with a selvedge with thick selvedge fringe at one end and part of a subsidiary selvedge with an applied red wool braided cord at the other, the main tapestry band is one of the shoulder strips of a relatively short tunic, the fringed selvedge is part of the hem and the subsidiary selvedge is part of the horizontal neck opening, the shoulder stripe is decorated, in linen on a dark ground, with elongated repeated roundels alternating with rectangular panels with ribbon interlace, with a light scalloped border with a plain frame without, the orientation of the design changes at the neck with a rectangular panel running beneath the neck opening, beneath this one and a half tapestry pendentives are preserved, an isolated fragment (b) fits into the neck area.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC-6thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 14.5 centimetres (A)
    • Width: 101 centimetres (A, including fringe)
    • Length: 7 centimetres (B)
    • Width: 7 centimetres (B)
  • Curator's comments

    Purple coloured wool is in fact blue and red fibres spun together.
    Information from Hero Granger-Taylor [1992]

  • Condition

    poor (dirty and fragile)

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Unreg.101a
    • Unreg.101b

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Object reference number: YCA61679

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