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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Gallery closures

Current and planned gallery closures are listed below. Please note that galleries may occasionally close at very short notice.

Part closure of Nereid Monument, Room 17  and Parthenon gallery, Room 18 

Monday 9 – Friday 20 February 2015

Please note that for two weeks in February some sections of the Nereid Monument and the adjoining Duveen Gallery will be protected by hoardings while a small number of objects are prepared for display in the special exhibition Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art. This exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 26 March until 5 July 2015. Both galleries will remain open to the public throughout this time.

Temporary gallery closures

Mesopotamia 1500–539 BC, Room 55 

Closed Monday 26 January – Friday 13 March 2015


Anatolia and Urartu 7000-300 BC, Room 54 

Closed Monday 26 January – Friday 13 March 2015


Assyria, Room 10 

Closed Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 February 2015


Part closure of Egyptian sculpture, Room 4 

North end closed Tuesday 10 February – Friday 20 February 2015


Assyria: Nineveh, Room 9 

Closed Tuesday 10 February – Friday 20 February 2015


Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, Room 21 

The world of Alexander, Room 22 

Closed until 12.00 on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 February 2015


Part closure of Egyptian sculpture, Room 4 

South end closed Monday 2 February – Friday 6 February 2015 and Wednesday 25 February – Friday 6 March 2015


Long-term gallery closures

The Waddesdon Bequest, Room 45 

This room is now closed

The Waddesdon Bequest is being redisplayed in a new gallery on the ground floor, due to open in June 2015. The Holy Thorn Reliquary will be displayed temporarily in Room 40: Medieval Europe for as long as possible while preparatory work continues. The new gallery has been made possible through the generosity of the Rothschild Foundation.

Limited opening

Greece: Bassai sculptures, Room 16 
Greek vases, Room 20a

Open daily 10.00 – 11.00

Access to Room 16 outside of these hours may be arranged by prior appointment with the Department of Greece and Rome. Please email greekandroman@britishmuseum.org

India: Amaravati, Room 33a 

Greek and Roman Architecture, Room 77 

Classical inscriptions, Room 78  

Enquire at the Great Court Information Desk for opening times of these galleries