What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by


seal / intaglio

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Elongated oval, irregular cabochon cut garnet intaglio with a flat back showing a crudely executed, draped, standing figure in profile, wearing a flat hat or helmet (?) and holding a staff. Three parallel horizontal lines extend behind the figure at thigh level. Moderate relief and perfunctorily engraved; lacks finish and detail.


  • Date

    • 1stC-5thC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 11 millimetres
    • Width: 8 millimetres
    • Thickness: 5 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    E. Errington: A similar figure of a helmeted Zeus, holding a sceptre with right arm outstretched, occurs on Indo-Parthian coins of Sasan (c. AD 64-70). A better executed helmeted figure with a staff is also found on intaglio 1880.3542, from Hadda Stupa 10.

  • Bibliography

    • Callieri 1997 no.6.1, p.99, pl.16 bibliographic details
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Probably purchased by Masson in Kabul bazaar, 1833-8.

  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • IM.Gems.43 (British Museum no.: India Museum collection)
Elongated oval garnet seal with a flat back showing a draped standing helmeted figure in profile to right, holding a staff.

Elongated oval garnet seal with a flat back showing a draped standing helmeted figure in profile to right, holding a staff.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRI12089

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help