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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



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

Height: 31.8 cm
Width: 21.5 cm



Gift of Mrs E.M. Pretty

M&ME 1939,10-10,93

This magnificent helmet, with pictures of men fighting on it, was placed next to the head to show that the owner was a fierce warrior.

When it was dug up it had broken into over 500 pieces. Conservators had to carefully put it back together - like doing a huge 3D jigsaw puzzle. It took them almost a year.

The amazing face-mask even has a moustache and holes under the nose for the wearer to breathe. The helmet also hides some animals - look for boars' heads on the eyebrows, a dragon head above the nose, and a great bird making up the eyebrows and nose.

On display: Room 2: Collecting the world