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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


Selection of blacksmith's tools

Selection of blacksmiths tools

Length: 232.000 mm (file)

On loan from Epping Forest District Council .

This is a selection of the type of tools used in a typical blacksmith's forge in Iron Age and Roman Britain. It includes an anvil, tongs, sledge hammer, chisel and poker. To make a tool or nail the blacksmith would heat iron ingots in a fire before cutting and hammering them into shape. The smith used the tongs to hold the heated iron on the anvil. Large files, like the one shown here, would have been used for cold-shaping and finishing.

Both tools and forging techniques changed little from the pre-Roman Iron Age until the early years of the twentieth century.

On display: Room 50: Britain and Europe