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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


Visiting information
Exclusive openings
for Members


Special exhibition opening
times for Members

Members and the general public can now enjoy extended visiting hours to special exhibitions (there is no need to pre-book if you are a Member). Please note these hours may be subject to change, so you are advised to check this page for the latest information before visiting.

General opening hours

Open daily 10.00–17.30
Fridays 10.00–20.30
Closing starts from 17.20 (20.20 on Fridays)

Members may be asked to collect a ticket for entry at a later time the same day to special exhibitions during peak times, such as lunchtimes and weekends.

Ancient lives, new discoveries


Planning your visit

Owing to the sensitive nature of the materials within Ancient lives, new discoveries, and because of the interactive technology involved, the number of people who can visit each day will be much smaller than many of our recent exhibitions. With this in mind, the Museum is introducing the possibility for a small number of Members to book in advance to visit the exhibition at a particular time on a particular day.

Booking slots will be released each Thursday at 12.00 (midday) for the following week’s entry times (e.g. on Thursday 15 May we will begin taking advance bookings for time slots from Thursday 22 May to Wednesday 28 May; on Thursday 22 May we will begin taking advance bookings for Thursday 29 May to Wednesday 4 June etc.). We will continue to take bookings until all slots for the week have been allocated. Booking will only be available over the phone via the Membership Office on +44 (0)20 7323 8195 (you must speak to a Member of staff in order to book a timeslot; bookings cannot be made by email or voicemail).

This service is intended to help those of you who need to specify exactly when you want to visit the exhibition – perhaps because you have a long journey to the Museum. This does not affect your right to make repeat visits to the exhibition, and Members will still have the option to enter without an advance booking (subject to space restrictions).

Ancient lives, new discoveries will be open until 30 November 2014. For more information about the advance booking facility please see our FAQs.

Extended opening hours

Please note: additional opening hours information will be updated here shortly.

Schools' morning

As part of the Museum’s ongoing outreach to younger audiences, Ancient lives, new discoveies will host a number of schools’ mornings. Please be aware that between 10.00 and 12.00 on these dates the exhibition space will be used as a learning environment by school groups and their teachers and accompanying adults:

24, 25, 26 June
1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15, 16 July
22, 24 September
2, 3, 7, 16, 17, 22 October
4, 6, November