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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

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  • Description

    Standing image of a deity, possibly Vishnu, crowned and haloed. The figure wears a necklace and shear robe across which passes the sacred thread. Although both arms are broken it is clear from his right side that the figure was originally four armed. The feet are missing. On the back is the remains of a strap-like element which must have functioned to hold the image upright. The figure has very pronounced broad shoulders and thin waist. Made of very dense copper alloy (possibly containing silver). Cast bronze.


  • Date

    • 10thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 16 centimetres
    • Width: 5 centimetres (max)
    • Depth: 2.5 centimetres
  • Condition

    The figure is quite worn. Parts of the arms are missing. The feet and base are also missing.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Possibly from the Otto Karow Collection, according to the donor.

  • Department


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: RRI34032

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