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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

 

Sutton Hoo helmet


Helmet from Sutton Hoo

Original helmet

Replica: front view

Replica: front view

Replica: side view

Replica: side view

1968: Excavation of the ship

1968: Excavation of the ship


From Mound 1, Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
Anglo-Saxon


Height: 31.8 cm
Width: 21.5 cm

 

 

Gift of Mrs E.M. Pretty

M&ME 1939,10-10,93


The most famous Anglo-Saxon treasures in the Museum come from the Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk. Here mysterious grassy mounds covered a number of ancient graves. In one particular grave, belonging to an important Anglo-Saxon warrior, some astonishing objects were buried.

Archaeologists discovered this helmet lying in the tomb. It was an amazing, rare find. It was also very unusual because it had a face-mask. Look at the nose, eyebrows and holes for the warrior's eyes. What sort of impression would the person who wore it have made? Can you see a dragon with outstretched wings, made up by the two bushy eyebrows, nose and moustache?

When this helmet was found it had broken into more than 500 pieces. Conservators carefully put it back together, rather like doing a huge 3-D jigsaw.

Resources for Teachers

An enquiry based around the Sutton Hoo helmet.

Download teachers' notes (27 Kb)

Download student activity sheet (40 Kb)

On display: Room 2: Collecting the world