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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

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  • Description

    Fragment of undyed linen with a square panel of tapestry in purple coloured wool and undyed linen. Tapestry design: waving horsemen in central roundel, crouching huntsmen in corners, hunted animals at sides - lion, leopard etc. Border of dots on stalks, treefoils at corners. "Coptic".
    Materials: linen, wool; Techniques: simple tabby, tapestry on grouped warp threads, wrapped float brocading; Warp: linen, S-spin, c. 17 ends per cm; Weft: linen and wool S-spin, c. 11 picks per cm in plain areas, c. 50 in tapestry; Edges: mostly fragmentary; Sewing: only closing internal selvedges at sides of tapestry.

    Textile fragment of undyed linen; woven square panel in purple wool with a centaur(?) enclosed by a central circle; in each corner a running human figure separated by a lion(?).


  • Culture/period

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 33 centimetres
    • Width: 37.5 centimetres
  • Condition

    Poor, decaying in areas.

  • 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 of undyed linen, Coptic


Textile fragment of undyed linen, Coptic

Image description



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Object reference number: MCB3072

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