What just happened?

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

 

The Lewis chessmen


The Lewis Chessmen

The Lewis Chessmen

Bishop

Bishop

King

King

Warder

Warder


Height: 4 cm - 10.3 cm

 

1831,1101.78-144


Chess is probably the most successful board game ever invented. It is well over 1000 years old and probably started in India. Two people each lead armies, and need to take the other person's king to win.

These chess pieces are made from carved whale and walrus teeth. Have a look at the picture - can you see the knights, a bishop, warders (or rooks as they are known today), a king, a queen, and two pawns?

What kind of game? Chess is a war game also needing lots of skill.

On display: Room 40: Medieval Europe