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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


Our Top Ten British Treasures

What are the most important British treasures in the British Museum? What makes one treasure more important than another?

Adam Hart Davis from the BBC asked British Museum curators these questions when making the programme 'Our Top 10 British Treasures' for BBC2.

In most people's minds, the word 'treasure' is linked with images of gold and silver worth huge amounts of money. But the BBC was surprised by some of the choices that the curators made; for the British Museum what makes a treasure valuable can not be measured in pounds or dollars, but in what it can tell us about our past. Curators selected not necessarily the most expensive 'treasures' found on British soil, but those whose discovery had made the most significant contribution to how we understand British history.

After much heated discussion the selection committee chose the ten major discoveries featured in this tour. Do you agree with their choice? Are there other objects found in Britain in the British Museum that you think deserve to be in the Top Ten in their place? Email us with your suggestions to treasure@britishmuseum.org