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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


Exhibition partnerships

Our hearts in the balance

Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
November 2010

Our hearts in the balance – a reference to the ancient Egyptian belief that the hearts of the dead would be weighed in the afterlife – was a project connected to the British Museum exhibition.

Community events draw in those whom the British Museum might not normally reach, bringing groups into the Museum or working with them off-site. On this project, the Museum worked with three groups: Modernisation Initiative for End of Life Care, Rosetta Life and the National Theatre Studio. Using storytelling and music, the team worked with care home residents and their carers to develop a script addressing how we prepare for death and what we wish to leave behind.

On 27 November 2010, alongside a community evening preview of the exhibition – itself about death and the afterlife in Ancient Egypt – the group performed the work in the Great Court, the Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying and the Asia gallery.

The heart-felt connections between those participating, their carers, families and friends, and spectators who were welcome to watch made for a moving performance on an issue many are uncomfortable discussing. The night was a joyous rendering of the important ideas and beliefs the collection represents, not just for past societies but for all of us today.

Watch the performance 

Exhibition partnerships

A performance from the Our hearts in the balance project.