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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


Fantastic Creatures


Further information

All international touring exhibitions 

Recommend this exhibition

Fantastic Creatures is a unique exhibition which comprises a culturally diverse selection of stunning objects from across the world, selected by the British Museum’s expert curators.

The exhibition explores common themes that recur in widely different civilisations, ancient and modern, and looks at how human needs are served by mythical creatures and beasts.

The powerful dragon, the magical phoenix, the elusive unicorn, the fierce griffin, the enigmatic Sphinx – these are but a few of the fantastic beings that have fascinated humans throughout time and around the world. Fantastic creatures may threaten or help us, they may be good or evil, they may be alluring or repelling – in widely different societies they occupy a fundamental place in human culture. As beings that are out of the ordinary, they are able to cross and challenge, but also guard and define, boundaries between known and unknown, self and other, nature and culture, life and death, and human and divine.