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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Sherds (series of one hundred and fifty). Made of stoneware, earthenware, porcelain. Thirty-eight blue and white; ninety celadon-glazed; twenty-two Islamic sherds.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 10thC-14thC
    • 13thC-14thC (celadons)
  • Production place

    • Factory in: Longquan
    • (Asia,China,Zhejiang (province),Longquan Area,Longquan (county),Longquan (town))
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 3 centimetres (min)
    • Length: 16 centimetres (max)
  • Bibliography

    • MacGregor 2010 60 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
    2012 - , April -, London, BM, G68, Coins and Medals permanent gallery
    2014 March - June, AHOW PROMISED

  • Science

    See investigations 

    Analysis date

    1 January 2009

    Reason for analysis


    Analysis title

    Microscopic investigation of three potsherds from Kilwa (Tanzania)

    Analysis outline

    Three sherds (Reg Obj No OA+ 916; one Longquan celadon, a Middle Eastern and an African potsherd) were selected for analyses. This request is part of the History of the World project and the main question regards their production and exchange in the wider context of the Indian Ocean trade. Petrographic and SEM-EDX analyses were carried out on the paste and slip of the potsherds, showing variation in the chemical and mineralogical composition, indicating different provenance and techniques of manufacture for the three objects.

    Analysis reference number


    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Found on cliff face or spoil from cliff face in 1948.

  • Department


  • Registration number



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

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Object reference number: RRC3188

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