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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

    [14a] Fragment of linen, sewn on two sides, undyed linen with self stripes in groups of threes. "Coptic".
    Material: linen; Techniques: simple tabby, self stripes in weft; Warp: S-spin, c. 14 per cm; Weft: S-spin, c. 10 per cm; Edges: one plain selvedge, 3 cut-edges; Sewing: edge with selvedge hemmed - overcasting with running stitch; remains of double seam - two rows of overcasting; panels b) attached with overcasting. Sewing thread, S-spin, Z-ply linen; Additional Info: self-stripes several picks used together in 3 or 4 consecutive sheds. The two cut edges away from seam [sic] cut since object was found.

    [14b] Two matching leaf-shaped panels. Tapestry, the wool weft completely lost. Design of paired cocks, in the upper half addorsed, in the lower confronted, stylised plant motifs between. "Coptic".
    Materials: linen (wool lost); Technique: tapestry on plied warp threads; Warp: S-spin, tight Z-ply, c. 10 ends per cm; Weft: linen S-spin, c. 45 per cm.

    Textile fragment; linen; with two leaf-shaped panels; decorated with one pair of addorsed and one pair of confronted birds on each.


  • Culture/period

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 46 centimetres
    • Width: 70 centimetres
  • Condition

    [14a] Good, limited areas of decay. [14b] Fair - except for the fact wool has completely rotted away.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Collection purchased at sale on 6th Dec 1954, lots 154, 155 and 156.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Textile fragment; linen; with two leaf-shaped panels, Coptic


Textile fragment; linen; with two leaf-shaped panels, Coptic

Image description



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Object reference number: MCB3343

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