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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

    Limestone ostracon.

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 5.7 centimetres
    • Width: 10 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        one side
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. 4 lines
  • Condition


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    21 July 1993

    Treatment proposal

    Clean. Join broken fragments.


    Dirty. Fragments requiring alignment and joining.

    Treatment details

    Cleaned using a sable brush and a pin vice. Dirt lodged in interstices removed using a scapel blade under magnification x 10. Fragments aligned then joined using HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate). Fragments secured in position using masking tape strips and placed upright in a sand tray until cured. Masking tape strips removed using Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol). Object renumbered using rotring ink upon two coats of Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) at 20% in 50/50 IMS/Acetone.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration 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: YCA16690

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