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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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tablet

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    41462

  • Description

    Clay tablet; Babylonian astronomical diary for the second half of year 148 of the Seleucid Era (=164-163 BC), including observation of Halley's comet in 164 BC; the text states that the comet which had previously been seen in the east in the path of Anu in the area of Pleiades and Taurus, now "passed along in the path of Ea." The date of first visibility according to modern calculations can be dated to about 22nd-28th September 164BC; inscribed on both faces

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 164BC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 12 centimetres
    • Width: 10 centimetres
    • Thickness: 4 centimetres
    • Weight: 511 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Akkadian
  • Curator's comments

    LBAT 380+920. Walker, Halley's Comet, 21-27. Sachs-Hunger, ADART 3, no. -163 B. Stephenson, HEER, 1081-10 (fig. 4.4). The text includes a description of a lunar eclipse on 30/31 Macrh 163 BC.

  • Bibliography

    • Curtis 2000b p.14 (reference to) bibliographic details
    • Hunger H et al 1985 pp.21-27 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G52/IRAN/6

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2008-2009 23 Oct-19 Apr, Dresden, Leiter des Heimat und Palitzmuseums, 'Comets'

    2008 26 Jun-5 Oct, Berlin, Vorderasiatisches Museum-Pergamonmuseum, 'Babylon, Myth and Truth'.

    2008-2009 23 Oct-19 Apr, Dresden, Leiter des Heimat-und Palitzmuseums, 'Comets'.

    2006 13 Apr-Dec, BM, G2/169/6.

    G52/IRAN/25, from official opening 17/11/95 until 15/12/05.

    1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/25.

    1990 6 May-9 Dec, Austria, Linz, Oberösterreichische Landesmuseen, 'Mensch und Kosmos'

  • Acquisition date

    1881

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    41462

  • Registration number

    1881,0625.73

  • Joined objects


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Object reference number: WCT53361

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