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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


Virtual autopsy:
explore a natural
mummy from
early Egypt

16 November
– 3 March 2013

The exhibition is now closed

Recommend this display

Explore a five and a half thousand year-old mummy and discover his long-held secrets, from his age at death to the surprising way that he died using a virtual autopsy table.

Found in around 1896, and known as Gebelein man, the natural mummy was buried in about 3500 BC at the site of Gebelein in Upper Egypt. Wrapped in linen and matting, he was placed in a crouched position in a shallow pit. Direct contact with the hot, dry sand naturally mummified his body, making him one of the best preserved individuals we have from ancient Egypt.

This year, British Museum curators have collaborated with scientists and medical experts to perform a CT scan of the mummy. Detailed images created from the scans’ high resolution X-rays allow us to look inside his body and learn about his life – and death – in ways never before possible.

Explore more

Read more about the Gebelein Man 
Human remains at the British Museum 

Gebelein Man, Predynastic period, about 3500 BC

This interactive exhibit is based on medical visualisation technology and research developed and provided by the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT, Visualization Center C and the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, Sweden.

We thank Bupa Cromwell Hospital for the CT scan of the mummy.



Virtual autopsy: exploring a natural mummy from early Egypt

New technology is allowing us to look inside the mummified body of a 5,500 year-old Egyptian man to learn more about his life and death.
Watch video