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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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artefact

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    MAS.604

  • Description

    Bone object of an oblong, slightly curved shape. The object is decorate with incised circles, each with a small hole in the middle. It was used to reinforce the lower limb of a bow.

  • Date

    • 750-860 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 18.9 centimetres
    • Width: 2.6 centimetres
  • Bibliography

    • Stein 1921a bibliographic details
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1917

  • Acquisition notes

    The 1917-11-28 group (with MAS numbering) refers to objects from Stein's Second Central Asian Expedition, 1906-08. As the expedition was financed 3/ 5 by the Government of India and 2/5 by the British Museum, it was agreed that the finds from the expedition should be allocated in these proportions. All the finds were shipped to London for sorting, research and publication, and subsequent distribution. The distribution of the finds between London and India was determined by specialists, appointed by the Government of India (through the India Office, London) and the British Museum, who drew up lists of the objects for approval by both sides. The specialists included: Raphael Petrucci, under supervision of Dr E Denison Ross (nominated by India Office) and Lawrence Binyon (British Museum) on paintings; Dr F W Thomas, Dr E Denison Ross (both nominated by India Office) and Dr L D Barnett (British Museum) on manuscripts and written documents; Dr E Denison Ross (nominated by India Office) and Lawrence Binyon (British Museum) on archaeological/other finds. Although the lists were drawn up and approved in 1915, the Government of India asked the British Museum to look after the entire collection during the First World War, and those allocated to India were eventually shipped in 1919.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    MAS.604

  • Additional IDs

    • ? (Stein no. (incorrect))
Plectrum. Made of bone.

Recto

Plectrum. Made of bone.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC6890

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