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

 

Commemorative head of a Queen Mother

A brass head representing Queen Idia was made to be placed in her altar following her death. It is said that Oba Esigie instituted the title of Queen Mother and established the tradition of casting heads of this type in honour of her military and ritual powers. Such heads were placed in altars in the palace and in the Queen Mother's residence.

Related playlists

Queen Mother

Sorry, this audio or video file is unavailable, please contact web@britishmuseum.org for more information

Playlist

 

Colossal bust of Ramesses II

One of the largest pieces of Egyptian sculpture in the British Museum.
Listen now 

 

Giant sculpture of a scarab beetle

This diorite sculpture, at around one and a half metres long, is one of the largest representations known.
Listen now 

 

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life was made by four Mozambican artists: Cristovao Canhavato (Kester), Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Maté.
Listen now 

 

The Atomic Apocalypse, by the Linares family

The celebration of the festivals of All Saints and All Souls.
Listen now 

 

The Rosetta Stone

A valuable key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs.
Listen now 

 

Kozo, the double-headed dog

Kongo carvers produced wooden carvings (minkisi, singular: nkisi) which were used in rituals.
Listen now