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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

    A decorative towel, a 'prosop'. Made from a long, rectangular piece of natural twill woven cotton cloth, with red and black bands (grouped in twos) on a cream 'ground', and identical patterning at each end. Three wide bands, framed by narrower ones; worked in white, red, brown and black cotton yarns and blue, green and orange synthetic yarns. Warp ends raw.


  • Date

    • 1898 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 136 centimetres
    • Width: 35 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Eth Doc 605: A 'prosop'. From her aunt. Made by her grand-mother for her aunt's dowry, 'zestre'. Home-woven but shop-bought cotton. For god-parents or relatives to wear at wedding. Circa 100 years old. * Mrs C talking (44 years old); her mother is circa 70 years old.'

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: EEU72292

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