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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

 

Chertsey Shield


Chertsey Shield

Chertsey Shield

Back, showing handle

Back, showing handle


Height: 83.600 cm
Width: 46.800 cm
Weight: 2.750 kg

Gift of RMC Group plc

P&EE 1986 9-11


This bronze shield was found in 1985 by the driver of a mechanical digger excavating gravel from a channel of the River Thames. The shield had been bent and crumpled by the digger.

It would have taken skilled craftspeople a long time to make this shield and it was probably not made to be used in battle; the thin bronze would have been smashed by swords and penetrated by spears with ease. The shield was probably made for display. Like the Battersea, Witham and Thames shields, the Chertsey shield was deliberately placed in the River Thames, probably as an offering or sacrifice to gods, spirits or ancestors.