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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

    Irregularly cut limewood panel bearing an encaustic portrait of a man with short hair; white mantle and tunic with a violet clavus; apex broken; vertical fissures.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 100-120
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 40.1 centimetres
    • Width: 21.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    S. Walker and M. Bierbrier, Fayum. Misteriosi volti dall'Egitto, London 1997, p. 78 [49].

  • Bibliography

    • Walker & Bierbrier 1997 25 bibliographic details
    • Parlasca & Seeman 1999 p.127, no.31 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


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

  • Condition

    fair - apex broken; vertical fissures

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    31 October 1996

    Treatment proposal

    Clean. Check splits.


    Slightly dirty

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned with cotton wool swabs moistened in distilled water containing 2% Synperonic N (non ionic detergent,nonylphenol ethylene oxide condensate). Decided to leave old repairs to splits in situ.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Portraits NG 2912-2915 were presented to the National Gallery in 1912 by the British School of Archaeology in Egypt. 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 2913


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: YCA60740

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