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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

 

Shoulder clasps


Sutton Hoo shoulder clasps

Shoulder clasps

Other view

Other view

Detail showing garnet cloisonné decoration

Detail showing garnet cloisonné decoration

Detail showing garnet cloisonné decoration

Detail showing garnet cloisonné decoration


Length: 12.700 cm
Width: 5.400 cm
Length: 12.700 cm
Length: 12.700 cm

Gift of Mrs E.M. Pretty

M&ME 1939,10-10,4;M&ME 1939,10-10,5


These two clasps may have fastened leather armour at the shoulder. They have a clever design: the two halves are put together, then the gold pin slides though them both, locking them together very strongly.

The clasps are beautifully decorated in a special way called garnet cloisonné. Thin strips of gold were formed into cells, and red garnets with gold foil underneath were placed into them. It took huge skill and patience to do this.

The ends of the clasps have boars on them. Boars meant strength to the Anglo-Saxons.

On display: Room 2: Collecting the world