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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


A brief history of...

How did people tell the time without clocks? What’s the oldest type of writing? Who would wear a suit made of seal mammal gut?

Find the answers to all these questions and more in our Brief History videos. You’ll meet some of our curators and learn how to make a coin, how to write ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and how to tell the time with a sundial.

Related playlists


Young explorers: a brief history of time telling

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A brief history of clothing

From protection against the elements and harm to telling the rest of the world who we are.
Watch now 


A brief history of money

Did you know that all sorts of things have been as money throughout history.
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A brief history of time telling

Everywhere you look there's something telling you the time.
Watch now 


A brief history of writing

We use it so much that it's easy to think that writing has always been around.
Watch now