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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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ostracon

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA55932

  • Description

    Ostracon, fragment of the body of a red-brown pottery ribbed vessel, the fabric is partially black in section, the interior is covered with a glossy brown-black resinous deposit, the exterior is covered with a red-brown slip and four lines of Coptic text written in black ink, containing an invoice.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC-8thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 109 millimetres (max)
    • Width: 104 millimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        exterior
      • Inscription Language

        Coptic
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Four lines of Coptic text written in black ink.
      • Inscription Translation

        Translation by W.E. Crum: "Apa Elias. Cheese, 16 'askalone', 8 'orgon', a large 'hots' of cheese."
  • Curator's comments

    The character of this ostracon is not certain, owing to its brevity. It may conceivably be a receipt without a date; but it seems unlikely that receipts, except by an accident, would be issued without a date, and on the whole it is most probable that it was a note of the destination and, in most cases, nature and amount, of a consignment, sent with it as a check on full delivery.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Crum & Bell 1922 p.153 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    fair

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1923

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1913-1914 by Reginald Campbell Thompson on behalf of the Byzantine Research Fund.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA55932

  • Registration number

    1923,0327.199

  • Additional IDs

    • O.Sarga 198 (text edition abbreviation according to Oates et al 2001)

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Object reference number: YCA61171

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