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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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spoon / ligula

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Silver spoon (ligula or cignus). The bowl is of slightly pointed oval form and a keeled cross-section. The swan's-head handle is fully coiled and inward-facing. The bird head is short, with a nielloed eye consisting of circle with two lines. The bowl is inscribed FAVSTINEVIVAS, the letters inlaid with niello. There is soem wear at the tip of the bowl.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 95 millimetres
    • Length: 75 millimetres (bowl)
    • Width: 41 millimetres (bowl)
    • Weight: 27.4 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

        Faustinus, may you live
  • Bibliography

    • Bland & Johns 1993 bibliographic details
    • Johns 2010 116 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    26 June 1996

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Remove corrosion


    1992; coated with sandy soil. 1996; Lightly covered with silver chloride and some of the neillo missing.

    Treatment details

    1992; Soil removed with cotton wool swabs of tap water and dried with paper towels. 1996; Removed with 30% Formic Acid washed in tap water and then rinsed with distilled. Dried with paper tissues. Lightly polished with Goddard's long term silver cloth (comp. unknown)

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • T304 (Treasure number)


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: BCB90915

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