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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


Time to decide

Grave field in winter

So, do the objects tell us who was buried at Sutton Hoo?

Here are four possible candidates:

1. Raedwald: (599-624/5 AD): A pagan, although he did convert to Christianity for a few months at one point. Overlord of all English kingdoms, so very powerful.

2. Eorpwold: (625-627/8 AD) Raedwald's son. Only ruled for a very short time before being murdered.

3. Sigebert: (630/1-636/7 AD) Eorpwold's half-brother. A devout Christian who found ruling the pagan East Angles so difficult that he shared the kingship with his kinsmen and cousin Ecric.

4. Ecric: (634-636/7 AD). Shortly after he became King other kingdoms threatened. Ecric and Sigebert went into battle together and were both killed in 637.

So which of these men was it? Or was it someone completely different? Send us an email to schools@britishmuseum.org and tell us who YOU think it was and how certain you are.