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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


Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum

Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002 and has devoted particular attention to developing the Museum’s regional and international partnerships.

Neil recently announced that he is to step down from his position at the British Museum at the end of 2015.

Neil sits on the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. In 2010 the British Museum and the BBC worked together on a project telling A History of the World in 100 objects. In 2012 another BBC radio series, Shakespeare’s Restless World, was broadcast and the accompanying book was published in September 2012. The most recent collaboration, Germany: memories of a nation, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in autumn 2014 and the accompanying book was published in November 2014.

Neil studied at Oxford and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, before going to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London to study 17th and 19th-century art. He was for six years a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and a part-time lecturer at the Courtauld. In 1981 he became Editor of the arts periodical The Burlington Magazine. He became Director of the National Gallery in 1987.

Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum