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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 death
Painted log coffin

In Arnhem Land, in central northern Australia, mortuary rituals ensure the safe journey of the soul after death. In the final stage, bones are placed in a hollow log coffin. This example features a depiction of Mana, an ancestral shark, and totem of the Yolngu peoples. In ancestral time, Mana was attacked by an ancestor from another clan. He angrily charged towards the land, carving out the rivers; his sharp teeth remained on the riverbanks as pandanus trees. The strength of ancestral beings can be drawn on through art, song and ceremony.

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Surviving death - Painted log coffin

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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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