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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

 

Money and society

Money captures our imaginations.

In film and television, it is often glamorised, driving our aspirations. But it is also used as a way to comment on the world’s wrongs, symbolising obsession and greed. Writers, musicians and visual artists use images of money in different ways in their work, reflecting their different personal and political beliefs.

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	Love token, Great Britain, AD 1797
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    Love token, Great Britain, AD 1797  

    The value of human life…

    Money can be a way to demonstrate the importance of a relationship between people. On the other hand, it can also be used to dehumanise a person, by literally putting a price on their life. During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, human beings were treated as chattels, or moveable goods, which enabled a price to be put on each individual.

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    $5 Planters Bank of Fairfield banknote, Winnsboro, USA, 1853 

    The value of human life…

    Money can be a way to demonstrate the importance of a relationship between people. On the other hand, it can also be used to dehumanise a person, by literally putting a price on their life. During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, human beings were treated as chattels, or moveable goods, which enabled a price to be put on each individual.

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    Purse, Elsa Peretti, 2006 

    Hidden wealth…

    Wealth today is often invisible, as we cannot see inside another person’s bank account. Being small, money can easily be concealed for safekeeping. However, people often like to give an indication of their wealth, for example by keeping money out of sight, but in an expensive wallet.

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    Suffragette-defaced penny, London, 1903  

    Making a point

    The anonymity of banknotes and coins once they are in circulation makes them hard to trace. This means that cash can be used for criminal activity, or for spreading personal and political messages. Millions of identical coins or banknotes can be made and put into circulation, but an individual can add their own marks to some of them. These messages can be personal or political, and they can spread protest.

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    Doctor Who Banknote Cardiff, Wales, 2006. © BBC Cymru Wales  

    Money in Popular culture

    A society’s obsessions are often found articulated in its popular culture; this is certainly true of money. It is prevalent throughout all forms of cultural output, from music to art to film. Even Time Lords find it useful…