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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


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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Silver spoon (cochlear), with a rounded oval bowl that has a marked rat-tail running the full length of the underside. The offset is open, with a curved volute and a plain, round-sectioned handle, which appears to have been bent and straightened again in antiquity. The bowl is very heavily worn, with some loss of metal at the tip, affecting the beginning of the inscription, which reads [V]IVASINDEO.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 170 millimetres
    • Length: 48 millimetres (bowl)
    • Width: 32 millimetres (bowl)
    • Weight: 22.6 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        [V] IVASINDEO
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Vivas in deo
      • Inscription Translation

        May you live in god.
      • Inscription Comment

        The initial V has been lost through heavy wear to the tip of the bowl
  • Bibliography

    • Bland & Johns 1993 bibliographic details
    • Johns 2010 122 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    Late 2016 – Late 2021, Rome: City & Empire touring exhibition, venues TBC. PROMISED

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    20 June 1996

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Remove corrosion


    1992; Coated with fine snady soil and tip of bowl damaged and worn due to use. 1996; Light silver chloride corrosion over entire surface. No neillo in the inscription and the tip of spoon was bent before or during burial.

    Treatment details

    1992; Soil removed with tap water on cotton wool swabs and dried with paper towel. 1996; Removed with 15% Ammonium Thiosulphate, washed with tap water rinsed with distilled and paper towel blotted followed by two changes of IMS and one of Acetone. Lightly polished with Goddard's long term silver cloth (comp. unknown)

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • T304 (Treasure number)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: BCB90921

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