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


The end of Apartheid

Pre-& post-democracy banknotes

CM 1992-31-34 / 2000-1-13-1

In 1994 the world's focus was on South Africa as it moved towards the first democratic elections and the final dismantling of the racist Apartheid system. Some feared that the elections might be marred by violence as political groups jostled for position, but all went smoothly.

The Apartheid regime was brought in by the Afrikaner National Party in 1948, to cement control of the economic and social systems in South Africa. The banknotes of Apartheid South Africa feature Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677), the Dutch administrator who founded Cape Town in 1652.

To reflect the new South Africa and its national identity many state symbols were redesigned after 1994. In place of Jan van Riebeeck, the new banknotes feature South African wildlife - a national symbol everyone can agree on.