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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


Skull and crown of the 'Deal Warrior'

Skull & crown of Deal Warrior

Skull and crown

The crushed and damaged skull

The crushed and damaged skull

Warrior in his grave

Warrior in his grave

Circumference: 59.500 cm (hat size 7½)
Width: 3.800 cm

Gift of the Dover Archaeological Group

P&EE 1990 1-2 24

This headdress or crown was found on the head of a warrior buried with his sword and shield. It is made from two sheets of bronze held together with rivets. The bronze band which went around the head is decorated with La Tène-style patterns.

No other headdresses from Iron Age Europe have been found in a grave. The discovery of this unusual burial led Dr Ian Stead at The British Museum to look again at other objects from Iron Age and Roman Britain. Another unusual Iron Age burial may also have contained a headdress very similar to those worn by some priests in Roman Britain over 200 years later. Were these Iron Age 'crowns' also only worn by priests (Druids) in the Iron Age? If so, was this person a warrior and a priest?

On display: Room 50: Britain and Europe