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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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bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1975,0516.1

  • Description

    Silver bowl; embossed design in the centre, depicting a 4-armed goddess seated on a lion with inscription below.

  • Date

    • 658
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 12.4 centimetres
    • Height: 4.6 centimetres
    • Weight: 127.5 grammes (previously weighed as 128.2 g)
    • Volume: 340 centimetres
    • Diameter: 5 inches
    • Height: 1.7 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Comment

        Dated to year 700 of Choresmian era = AD 658
  • Curator's comments

    Pendant jewel worn by the central figure compared by Lerner to Khorezmian or Sogdian pebble jewel pendant found in the tomb of Shi Suoyan in Guyuan (p. 261, cat. 87 in Annette L. Juliano & Judith A. Lerner et al., 'Monks and Merchants: Silk Road Treasures from Northwest China. Gansu and Ningxia, 4th-7th Century', New York: Harry N. Abrams, with the Asia Society, 2001).

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Grenet F & Marshak B 1998a bibliographic details
    • Juliano & Lerner 2001a p.261, cat. 87 (cat. entry by Lerner) bibliographic details
    • Ward 1993 p.49, fig.33 bibliographic details
    • Harper P O et al. 1978a p.70, fig. 23a (cited as a parallel) bibliographic details
    • Azarpay G 1969a pl. 1 (discusses iconography and the inscription) bibliographic details
    • Dalton 1964a pp. 57-58, pl. 32, no. 203 bibliographic details
    • Seipel W 1996a pp.305, 425, cat. 169 (cat. entry by St J. Simpson) bibliographic details
  • Location

    G34/3

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2013-14 24 Oct-27 April, BM, G69a, 'Wise men from the East: Zoroastrian traditions in Persia and beyond'
    1996 21 Jan-14 Apr, Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum, 'Weihrauch und Seide: Alte Kulturen an der Seidenstrasse'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition date

    1975

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased from Princess Gagarine

  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number

    1975,0516.1

  • Additional IDs

    • 124089 (WAA big number)
    • 1877-8-20,1 (original reg. number)
    • OT 203
Silver bowl; embossed design in the centre, depcting a 4-armed goddess seated on a lion with inscription below.

Silver bowl; embossed design in the centre, depcting a 4-armed goddess seated on a lion with inscription below.

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Object reference number: RRM15365

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