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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


Bronze model of a human head

Bronze model of a human head

Length: 4.000 cm

Gift of Mrs A.G. Neall

P&EE 1911 12-8 5

This face is 2000 years old. He is a mature man with hair combed back, clean-shaven except for a well-groomed moustache. Images of prehistoric Britons are very rare; in the Iron Age people were almost never represented in statues or as part of the decoration on objects. However, at the very end of the Iron Age in the south-east of England, a few images of men can be found on coins or as decorations on wooden buckets.

This is one of three small bronze models of men's faces that decorated a wooden bucket found in a Late Iron Age cremation burial.

On display: Room 50: Britain and Europe