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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


The BP exhibition

50 years that
changed China

18 September 2014 –
5 January 2015
Tickets on sale

Supported by BP BP logo

This major exhibition will explore a golden age in China’s history.

Between AD 1400 and 1450, China was a global superpower run by one family – the Ming dynasty – who established Beijing as the capital and built the Forbidden City. During this period, Ming China was thoroughly connected with the outside world. Chinese artists absorbed many fascinating influences, and created some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made.

The exhibition will feature a range of these spectacular objects – including exquisite porcelain, gold, jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles – from museums across China and the rest of the world. Many of them have only very recently been discovered and have never been seen outside China.

Art Exhibitions China – principal Chinese contributor

‘The British Museum’s autumn blockbuster' Financial Times

‘Ming is still the thing’ The Times

‘spectacular’ House & Garden Magazine

Open daily 10.00–17.30,
Fridays until 20.30

Last entry 70 mins before closing

Friday lates     Access 

More on visiting the exhibition 


Adults £16.50*, Members free

More on booking tickets 

* Booking fees apply online and by telephone


These include a fabulous presentation sword, exquisite porcelain, and a silk scroll painting of the great imperial palace in Beijing.

See highlight objects 


Read the latest article from the Ming blog 

UK tour: 
Made in China: an imperial Ming vase

Imperial porcelain reflected a courtly interest in other cultures, and its manufacture was strictly controlled to meet the highest standards. Ming porcelain has long been prized by collectors in Britain and around the world. This stunning blue-and-white vase with lotus decoration is the largest Ming imperial porcelain of its kind in the British Museum collection, and will be touring the UK in 2014–15. Supported by BP.

About the tour 

Ming: courts and contacts 1400–1450

Thursday 9 October, 14.00–17.00
Friday 10 October, 10.00–17.00
Saturday 11 October, 10.00–17.00

This conference will look at the roles of imperial and princely courts in China at this time and how China interacted with the wider world. Over 30 international scholars will explore a wide range of topics,including art and material culture, the military and government, maritime trade and diplomacy, and beliefs and cross-cultural exchanges.

About the conference 

Loan objects

A number of objects borrowed for this exhibition will be recommended for protection under Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (protection of cultural objects on loan).

For more information 

Recommend this exhibition