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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


Divine Cat:
Speaking to the gods in ancient Egypt

8 November 2007 – 27 January 2008

Exhibition closed

Room 3

The Asahi Shimbun Displays
Objects in focus

Supported by

This display uses both ancient sources and scientific analyses to explore a unique and intriguing bronze statue from ancient Egypt: the Gayer-Anderson Cat. It shows that there is often more than one way of looking at a museum object.

Bronze statues such as this cat were used in ancient Egypt to communicate with the gods. Inscriptions surviving upon some of these statues reveal the different types of requests made to the gods by the person dedicating the statue. Donors sought a long life, good health, and other such wishes through leaving the statue in a temple.

In 2007, scientific research carried out at the British Museum revealed new and surprising information about the statue including how it was made, and also how the original owner in modern times, Major Gayer-Anderson, repaired and modified the cat.

Bronze figure of a seated cat and x-ray

Bronze figure of a seated cat. EA 64391