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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


Fiona Sheales

Curator of West Africa Collections
West Africa

Department: Africa, Oceania and the Americas 


+44 (0)20 7323 8055

Fiona is responsible for the West African Collection, in particular Benin and Asante, and for making the collection accessible to as diverse an audience as possible through research and publications. In her role as curator she also helps to develop new exhibitions and interpretation with colleagues in the Africa section and across the Museum.

Her research interests include understanding what motivates cross-cultural appropriations of social conventions and artefacts and how encounters between different cultures are re-presented in various art forms. In the past her research has focussed on Anglo-African appropriations in pre-colonial Ghana (Gold Coast) and during the colonial period in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Before joining the British Museum Fiona was a PhD research student at the Sainsbury Research Unit (SRU), University of East Anglia (UEA). Her doctoral thesis is entitled Sights/Sites of Spectacle: Anglo/Asante Appropriations, Diplomacy and Displays of Power 1816-1820. She also worked as an assistant curator of fine art at Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service (NMAS).

Current projects

  • Online Asante Gold Catalogue

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

  • Association of Art Historians (AAH)

  • Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA)

  • Norfolk and Norwich Archaeology Society (NNAS)

  • Royal Anthropology Institute (RAI)

  • University of East Anglia Alumni Association (UEAAA)

Recent publications

Forthcoming March 2012 ‘Wrapping and Ratification: A Pre-Colonial Display of Diplomacy Asante Stylee’ in Outside Things Bodil Birkebæk Olesen (ed.), World Art 2 (1)