What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ostracon, fragment (four pieces joined - incorporating 1923,0327.82) of the body of a buff-coloured pottery vessel, the exterior is widely grooved and covered with a cream-coloured slip and remains of fourteen lines of Coptic text written in black ink, now very worn in places, containing part of a letter.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC-8thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 222 millimetres (max)
    • Width: 215 millimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Remains of fourteen lines of finely Coptic text written in black ink, now very worn in places.
      • Inscription Translation

        Translation by W.E. Crum: "Indeed I know that [I have importuned ?] your most saintly lord fathership many a time and you have borne with my needs and our burdens. I entreat your most saintly fathership regarding this also (and) that you would complete your charity, in accordance with your great benevolence that you have toward my humility. For I know that I have been bold in writing to your most saintly, revered fathership, beyond my deserts. But grant me indulgence in this matter also and instruct me what is fitting by your sweet teaching. (From) Theona, the . . . . ."
  • Curator's comments

    From same pot as 1923,0327.82

  • Bibliography

    • Crum & Bell 1922 p.99-100 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    fair (four pieces joined)

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

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

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • O.Sarga 109 (text edition abbreviation according to Oates et al 2001)


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: YCA59173

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help