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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 long, narrow oval bowl has a slight keel beneath, and the handle is an outward-facing bird-head on an S-shaped neck. The interior of the bowl has been very firmly scraped down, and there may originally have been an inscription there, but it cannot now be seen. On the underside of the bowl is a lightly scratched graffito, PER, and near the handle, a smaller PR, incised by a different hand and implement..


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 107 millimetres
    • Length: 78 millimetres (bowl)
    • Width: 41 millimetres (bowl)
    • Weight: 24 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        underside of bowl
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

        A lightly-scratched ownership graffito. Probably for 'Peregrinus'
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        beneath bowl, near handle
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

        A scratched ownership graffito. Possibly for 'Primus', but there are other possibilities.
  • Bibliography

    • Bland & Johns 1993 bibliographic details
    • Johns 2010 115 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.

    Treatment details

    1992; Soil removed with cotton wool swabs of tap water and dried with paper towels. 1996; Removed with 15% Ammonium Thiosulphide .Washed with tap water and then rinsed with distilled water. Dreid with paper towels. 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 

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Object reference number: BCB90914

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