What just happened?

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 fire
Balga, Xanthorrhoea preissii

Bushfires are lethal for both people and plants. However, some Australian plants have adapted to not only survive fire, but use it to help them grow. Fire causes balga trees to flower – a long, straight flower stalk sprouts from among the grass-like leaves at the top of the blackened, fire-resistant trunk. The stalk is covered with tiny flowers, which produce a sweet nectar – delicious when made into a drink. Indigenous Australians used dry flower stalks to rub together and make fire. In some areas, fire was used in a controlled way to promote new growth.

Related playlists

Downloads

Surviving fire - Balga, Xanthorrhoea preissii

Download this video to watch in your favourite media player, or to view this video online please enable javascript.

Using this on a mobile device? Tap the image to watch.
On desktop, requires Flash player or click image to download.

All Australian season video and audio

 

Introducing the Australian season

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

Play video 

 

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.
Play video 

 

Introducing the Australian landscape

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

Walkabout trail

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

Recorded events