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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.

Temporary gallery closures

Africa, Room 25

Closed Wednesday 13 May 2015 after 17:00


Mesopotamia 1500–539 BC, Room 55

Closed Monday 26 January –  Friday 1 May 2015


Anatolia and Urartu 7000-300 BC, Room 54

Closed Monday 26 January – Friday 1 May 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