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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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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Black silk satin skirt with elasticated waist elaborately embroidered in multi-coloured cross-stitch along the back and sides. The decoration represents stylised palm trees.

  • Date

    • early 20thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 89 centimetres
    • Width: 105 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This skirt was most likely made from a dress that has been cut and modified to allow for the fitting of an elasticated cord around the waist.

  • Condition

    Embroidery worn in places; some evidence of mending; a couple of possible burn holes.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This donation consists of four articles of clothing, the skirt being one, purchased by the donor's mother in the early 1950s while travelling in the Middle East.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • 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: RRM44960

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