What just happened?

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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Head and upper body of a granite statue of Osiris: dressed in the usual enveloping and close-fitting robe, and holding his arms crossed on his chest; in his fists are the symbols of kingship, the crook and the flail. On his chin is the conventional divine beard, the end of which is broken off. He wears the 'atef' crown, which resembled the white crown of Upper Egypt, with a feather on both sides, and a pair of ram's horns jutting out at the base. On the back pillar are the beginnings of two columns of incised hieroglyphs. Both texts are based around the formula "an offering which the king gives;" the left one is dedicated to Osiris, and the right to Isis. The name of each god is accompanied by a number of epithets. The texts break off at the point where the benefits which they are asked to give are specified, well before the name of the dedicator of the statue would have appeared.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 305BC-30BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 57 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 35 centimetres
    • Depth: 25 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Translation

        Titles/epithets include : Foremost of the Westerners
        Titles/epithets include : Lord of Eternity
        Titles/epithets include : Mother of the God
        Titles/epithets include : Mistress of the Two Lands
      • Inscription Comment

        Incised in two columns.
  • Curator's comments

    This fragment probably formed part of a standing statue of the deity.

    'Art and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, Japan 1999-2000' [exhibition catalogue] (Japan, 1999), [46];
    W. Seipel, 'Gott. Mensch. Pharao' [exhibition catalogue] (Vienna, 1992), pp. 410-411 [165].
    J.H. Taylor and N.C. Strudwick, Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. Treasures from The British Museum, Santa Ana and London 2005, pp. 16-7.


  • Bibliography

    • Taylor & Strudwick 2005 p.16-17 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2001 26 Jun-23 Sep, Birmingham Gas Hall, Egypt Revealed
    2005-2008, California, The Bowers Museum, Death and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

  • Condition

    incomplete - lower part lost

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


Head and upper body of a granite statue of Osiris; two columns of incised Hieroglyphic text on the back-pillar.

Head and upper body of a granite statue of Osiris; two columns of incised Hieroglyphic text on the back-pillar.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: YCA59875

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help