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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

    A terracotta horse-protome spout with a wide tubular muzzle, broken from a vessel. The neck with much of the head was wheel-thrown and slightly squashed from its cylindrical shape; the muzzle was also wheel-made and added to the head, small lumpy ears were attached (one lost) and a wavy mane was applied. Orange-brown Nile silt with some white inclusions and a little mica. The exterior is covered overall with a drab cream-coloured slip; lines on the face, the eyes and the hair of the mane are shown with a black fired-on ceramic colour.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 550-650 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 7.1 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Donated: Byzantine Research and Publication Fund (BRPF). Excavated by R. Campbell Thompson and F.A. Richards in 1913-14 at Wadi Sarga, 15 miles south of Asyut. [The same as registration no. 1919,0505.316.]

    Late Roman, about AD 550-650.

  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3733 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    fair (incomplete)

  • 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


Earthenware fragment; red fabric in the form of an animal's head and neck; grey-white slip; some details in grey paint; the object is hollow.

Earthenware fragment; red fabric in the form of an animal's head and neck; grey-white slip; some details in grey paint; the object is hollow.

Image description



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Object reference number: YCA32473

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