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



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • 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 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).


  • 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


  • Exhibition history


    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


  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased from Princess Gagarine

  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


  • 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.

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: RRM15365

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