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Gold Oval Pendant; embossed with a figure of the Virgin standing in the attitude of an orans within a pearled border. Findspot: Nile Delta, Alexandria, Egypt. Period: Early Byzantine. British Museum is closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January, but is open every other day of the year. Fast facts about the British Museum: Founded: 1753, Collection size: 8 million objects, Oldest object in the collection: Stone chopping tool (nearly 2 million years old).