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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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  • Description

    Frieze of basalt with part of an inscription with the titles of the Bengal Sultān Sayf al-Dīn Firūz Shāh (AH 893-896).

  • Date

    • 15thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 27.2 centimetres
    • Length: 47.2 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        [Current reading with reconstructions]
        عهد الساطان الزمان) المؤيد)
        بتائيد الديان امجاهد فئ
        سبيل الرحمن خليفة اللّه
        بالحجة و البرهان سيف
        الدنيا (والد) ين

        [Text as transcribed in Bengal in the early nineteenth century]
        المويد الدنيا و الدين المجاهد في سبيل الله
        ......خليفة الرحمن السلطان باالحجة و البرهان سيف الدنيا و الدين
      • Inscription Translation

        ....[during the reign of the Sultān of the age] who is strengthened by the assistance of the Supreme Judge, the Warrior in the Path of the Merciful, the Caliph of God by proof and evidence, Sayf al-Dunyā [wa al-] Dīn [Ābu'l Muzaffar Firūz Shāh Sultān, may God perpetuate his kingdom and authority]...
      • Inscription Comment

        Arabic text as written in Bengal in the early 19th century and preserved in Letters on Antiquities (G&R) no. 126 'Hindostanee Inscriptions from Gour'. The reading is not entirely correct.
  • Curator's comments

    Blue slip based on old Franks notebooks gives 1826.7-8 ('Eight arabic inscriptions on slabs of black marble from the ruins of Gaur. Col Wm Franklin').

    Letters on Antiquities (G&R) no. 126 'Hindostanee Inscriptions from Gour' [11 November 1826] shows there were three inscriptions in total from Franklin; the 'eight' in Franks's notebooks being the total number of fragments. The latter document attributes the present inscription to the Firūz Minār at Gaur.


  • Bibliography

    • Sinha 2001 p. 134 bibliographic details
    • Hasan 1983 pp. 21-28, plate 6 [reversed] bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • OA+.6415
Inscription. Part of an inscription with the titles of the Bengal Sultan Abu'l Muzaffar Yusuf Shah bin al Sultan Barbak (1474-81).

Inscription. Part of an inscription with the titles of the Bengal Sultan Abu'l Muzaffar Yusuf Shah bin al Sultan Barbak (1474-81).

Image description



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Object reference number: RRI30721

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