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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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  • Description

    Figure of Agni. Made of basalt.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 11thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 31 centimetres
    • Width: 20.3 centimetres
  • Bibliography

    • Koezuka (1994) Cat. no. 35 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    1994, Kyoto National Museum, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum
    1994, Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art, Masterpieces of Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture from the British Museum

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    4 October 1993

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal



    Generally sound, though a small amount of lamination in the animal below the central figure. Black paint had been applied to the surface to make the detail of the carving more noticable for exhibition purposes, and it was decided to remove this and accrued surface grime.

    Treatment details

    The paint was removed using Nitromors water soluble (methylene chloride,sodium hydroxide,cellulose) followed by Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) applied on cotton wool swabs. The object was then lightly Steam cleaned using distilled water; run off dirt and water absorbed into soft tissue paper. This removed surface grime. Traces of original pigment were found on Agni's crown underneath the black paint.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased by John Bridge at the Stuart sale at Christie's in June, 1830. The collection was given to the British Museum in 1872 by Mrs John Bridge and his nieces, Miss Fanny Bridge and Mrs Edgar Baker, on the death that year of George Bridge, brother of John Bridge.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Figure (Agni). Made of stone (basalt).

Figure (Agni). Made of stone (basalt).

Image description



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Object reference number: RRI846

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