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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

    Helmet skull made of heavy wrought iron; it has a medial ridge, a nasal broken off, and a row of flush rivets around the base. At either side is a rectangular cut-out for the ears. At the rear is an extensive area of damage.

  • Date

    • 19thC (?)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 17 centimetres
    • Width: 20.05 centimetres
    • Depth: 21 centimetres
    • Weight: 1565 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    A Victorian historicist piece, vaguely based on helmets shown on the carpet of Bayeux (oral communication Simon Metcalf, Royal Collections, 24 June 2005).Probably a fake made by Thomas Grimshaw, the most celebrated maker of fake Medieval armour in 19th Century England.
    Comment by T. Richardson, Royal Armouries (February 2008)


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • AL116/40 (Royal Armouries 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: MCN8488

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