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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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textile / tapestry

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Section of a large plain weave textile,undyed and unbleached linen with part of a large tapestry roundel and double tapestry bands in linen and purple-coloured wool. The roundel is elaborated with an outline design of interlacing geometric forms and a frame comprising scattered discs of two sizes; the bands are elaborated with a design of hexagons set amongst stylised leaves.
    Warp: linen s-spin, c.16 ends per cm.
    Weft: linen s-spin wool z-spin, c.11 picks per cm in plain areas, c.50-55 in tapestry
    Edges: all ragged
    Sewing: none
    Add. info: some warp threads dropped from back of roundel, hanging in a bunch
    Condition: poor - discoloured and brittle.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 54 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 58 centimetres (max)
  • Curator's comments

    Information from Hero Granger-Taylor (1991)

    History of use: from a very large cloth, use uncertain.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Unreg.29

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Object reference number: YCA61539

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