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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 linen, undyed with areas of tapestry weave in coloured wool (red, yellow, green, dark blue, pink, brown) and linen. The largest (tapestry) motif (is) a roundel with a frame of flowers aND petals around a haloed half-figure - a personification or a Christian saint. Also (in tapestry) small dots - petals or buds - and stylised baskets of fruit. "Coptic". While scattered design suggests relatively early date soumak outlining [[[just appearing on the central figure is generally found on tapestry designs which relate to 8th-10th century Byzantine silks. ]]]]
    Materials: linen/wool; Techniques: simple tabby; tapestry on grouped threads; soumak outlining; Warp: linen, S-spin, c.14 ends per cm; Weft: linen and wool, all S-spin, c.19 picks per cm in plain areas c.45 in tapestry; Edges: all fragmentary; Sewing: none.

    [[[Fragment(of curtain?); undyed linen and coloured wool(red, yellow, green, dark blue, pink and brown); simple tabby; tapestry on grouped threads; soumak outlining; largest motif is roundel depicting haloed half-figure of saint or personification surrounded by flowers; also stylised fruit baskets and buds.]]]]


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 8thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 24 centimetres
    • Width: 20 centimetres
  • Condition

    Fragmentary, but otherwise fair, colours good.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


8thC Fragment(of curtain?); undyed linen and coloured wool

8thC Fragment(of curtain?); undyed linen and coloured wool

Image description



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Object reference number: MCB81

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