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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

Friday 23 January 2015 – most parts of the Museum closed until 11.00 in the morning

Please note, on the morning of Friday 23 January, most areas of the Museum will not open until 11.00 (one hour later than usual). Only the Great Court and the following special exhibitions will be open from 10.00: Germany: memories of a nation and Ancient live, new discoveries.

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.

Greece: Bassai sculptures, Room 16 
and 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


Greek and Roman Architecture: 560 BC–AD 300, Room 77 
India: Amaravati, Room 33a 
and Classical inscriptions, Room 78  


Check before you visit

Enquire at the Information Desk in the Great Court for opening times or call +44 (0)20 7323 8299

Temporary gallery closures

Enlightenment, Room 1 

Closed 12 – 24 January 2015

Closed Monday 12 to Saturday 24 January 2015 for essential annual maintenance.


Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, Room 21 

The world of Alexander, Room 22 

Galleries closed on the mornings of Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 February 2015


Egyptian sculpture, Room 4 (north end closure) 

Part closure from Tuesday 10 February – Friday 20 February 2015


Egyptian sculpture, Room 4 (south end closure) 

Part closure from 2 February – Friday 6 February 2015 and 25 February – 6 March 2015


Assyria: Nineveh, Room 9 

Closed due to work in Room 4 from Tuesday 10 February – Friday 20 February 2015

Anatolia and Urartu 7000-300 BC, Room 54 

Closed from 26 January – 13 March 2015

Mesopotamia 1500–539 BC, Room 55 

Closed from 26 January – 13 March 2015