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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

    Pottery ostracon.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 7.5 centimetres
    • Width: 6.2 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. Illegible
  • Condition

    poor (destroyed by salt)

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    20 October 2005

    Treatment proposal

    desalination / stabilisation


    Ostrakon 31145 is split into two fragments. Both have salts. The top fragment has no visible inscription.

    Treatment details

    The ostrakon was examined under the microscope. The loose salts were brushed off and the harder crystals were broken ups with a small pin. Loose areas were consolidated with 5% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) 1:1 in acetone /IMS applied with a micropipette. Flakes were reattached by applying a few coating of 15% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in acetone. All the surface of both fragments was consolidated woth 5% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) applied with a brush and a micropipette in two coatings.

    Both fragments were desalinated by immersing in distilled water until conductivity showed a low number (ranging from 40.5X10**-4S going down to 1.0X10**-4S).

    After desalination the two fragments were reattached with Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) 50% in acetone applied from the tube. Joins supported with clamps during curing. Missing areas filled with 25% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) mixed with Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin) . Excess was removed with acetone.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


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Object reference number: YCA8249

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