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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

 

Surviving conflict
Bark shield

Shields were used as protection from spears in conflict situations, or during ritual contests held to settle disputes. This shield is known as an elemong, and is connected with the Gweagal people of Botany Bay, on the eastern coast of Australia. It is made of red mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa), which was used to make shields because it was a strong wood, resistant to the impact of weapons, and to insect damage and rot. The shield was used in response to musket fire, during James Cook’s landing at Botany Bay in 1770.

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Surviving conflict - Bark shield

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All Australian season video and audio

 

Introducing the Australian season

A season focusing on Australian biodiversity, modern prints and beautifully handcrafted baskets.

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Building the Australian landscape

Watch a timelapse video recording the creation of the landscape over the course of three weeks in March and April 2011.
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Introducing the Australian landscape

The fourth landscape on the Museum's forecourt created in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
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Walkabout trail

This ‘walkabout’ trail features Australian
objects in the Museum’s collection.

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