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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

    Gold cylindrical fitting, hollow and D-shaped in cross-section, with sealed ends, both pierced by a thin internal gold cylinder. The curved face is divided into five zones filled with cloisonné garnet inlays set over ?pointillé gold foil. The outer end of the fitting is sealed by a flat, undecorated cover, pierced off-centre and soldered in place. The back is constructed from two gold sheets that are pleated longitudinally and off-centre, to seal the join. The inner end is curved asymmetrically as though designed to articulate with a round element (in the form, roughly, of a ball and socket). It is centrally pierced at the end of the internal cylinder, snipped at irregular intervals and is splayed around the piercing to hold the cylinder in place. The cylinder is marginally wider at the inner end.
    The curved surface is divided into five fields, each filled with poorly constructed cloisonné, separated by fillets of gold of varying widths. The decorative scheme consists of broad zones flanked by narrow ones, filled with a variety of cell shapes. Zone 1 contains six inlays of crudely shaped, notionally stepped garnets, arranged in interlocking pairs. It is balanced on the opposite side of the mount by a narrow zone also containing six stepped garnets, cut with greater skill, also arranged in interlocking pairs. The central zone, also narrow, contains six garnets arranged in two interlocking pairs flanked at either end by a single triple stepped stone that binds the panel together. Zone 2, a broad field, contains thirteen T- and mushroom-shaped cells springing from the dividing walls and separated by cloisons in the shape of elongated hexagons. Two large mushroom panels are concealed in the layout.
    The dominant field contains a coherent geometric pattern based on a six square field with diamond pattern cloisons at the grid crossover. Within this the pattern is developed at one end only with the use of interlocking stepped cloisons enclosing the central diamond-shaped cell.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 13 millimetres
    • Width: 8 millimetres
    • Weight: 3.4 grammes
  • Bibliography

    • Carver 2005 p.254 bibliographic details
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1982-1992. Excavation funded by The British Museum and the Society of Antiquaries, London.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 55/65


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: MCS24981

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