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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Portrait of a bearded man in tempera on limewood with added gold leaf.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 150-180
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 42.1 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published: S Walker and M Bierbrier, Ancient Faces (London, 1997), 94, 95 (no. 85).

  • Bibliography

    • Walker & Bierbrier 1997 85 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2001 13 Mar-24 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Museum of Australia, Gold and Civilisation
    2001 19 Jul-21 Oct, Australia, Melbourne, Museum Victoria, Gold and Civilisation

  • Acquisition notes

    This object is the property of the National Gallery, London (as part of the Mond Bequest), but is on long-term loan to the British Museum.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • National Gallery 3932 (Long Term Loan)


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: YCA75897

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