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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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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Two fragments of thick wool cloth, perhaps from a cushion-cover, dark blue and undyed, with a repeating design of a snow flake-like motif, made up of four leaves or flowers arranged around a small circle, set within an elongated octagon, lozenges at the corners. On one side of the cloth design in light on a dark blue background, vice versa on the other side.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1stC(late)-5thC(early)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 22 centimetres (i)
    • Width: 16 centimetres (i)
    • Length: 8 centimetres (ii)
    • Width: 12 centimetres (ii)
  • Condition

    fragment, fair, worn

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    24 June 1991

    Treatment proposal

    Clean.. Straighten.. Back as necessary + mount for display on padded board.


    Dusty. Weave misaligned. Some losses in textile.

    Treatment details

    Dust removed with vacuum cleaner. Fibres relaxed using water vapour from ultrasonic spot humidifier, then realigned with fingers. Allowed to dry. Pressure mounted for display. N.B. Backing not necessary.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • QI.76.T/402


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: YCA36175

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