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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


Queen Ahmose-Nefertari

Tomb painting:Ahmose-Nefertari

Fragment of painting from the tomb of Kynebu Thebes, Egypt, 20th Dynasty, around 1145 BC

EA 37994

Queen Ahmose-Nefertari was the mother of King Amenhotep I. She probably ruled for him as his regent when he was a young boy. This portrait of her was painted on a tomb wall 400 years after she died, when she was being worshipped as a god in the local area of Thebes. Her skin has been painted black because black skin meant new life to the Egyptians.

For parents

There was no word for 'Queen' in ancient Egypt, as female rulers were so unusual; instead they were known as "king's wife". Both Ahmose-Nefertari and Amenhotep were made into goddesses after their deaths, an unusual occurrence at the time, and one that showed Ahmose-Nefertari's importance. The cobra on Ahmose-Nefertari's crown and the flail in her hand indicate her royal status.