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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Iron sword; double-edged; oval upper and lower guard remains; pommel missing; organic remains on tang.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 82.5 centimetres (surviving)
  • Curator's comments

    Comment from Kidd, Haith & Ager ‘Summary Catalogue’ (draft MS)

    For comments re. entire collection see 1908,0801.393

    Tailfingen, Kr. Balingen (now Albstadt-Tailfingen, Zollernalbkreis), Baden-Württemberg, Germany; found March 1893; grave 12, associated with 1908,0801.511-5 and 534.

    The grave contents as a whole noted in EDELMANN H. 1893a. Neues 'Altes' vom oberen Donaugau, Blätter des Schwäbischen Albvereins V part 10, Stuttgart, p. 206 and EDELMANN H. 1893b. Reihengräber zu Truchtelfingen, Prähistorische Blätter V part 3, Munich, p. 42, and EDELMANN H. 1900. Der alamannische Friedhof (Reihengräber) bei Truchtelfingen, Blätter des Schwäbischen Albvereins XII part 4, Stuttgart, p. 164 and VEECK W. 1931. Die Alamannen in Württemberg, 2 vols, Germanische Denkmäler der Völkerwanderungszeit, Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts zu Frankfurt am Main 14. Berlin, p. 249 no. 12.

    MS labels: 1893 Truchtelfingen (Mühle)(Grab 12); 123[deleted] 120

    ZÜRN H. and SCHIEK S. 1969. Die Sammlung Edelmann im Britischen Museum zu London, Urkunden zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte aus Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern 3. Stuttgart, p. 31, pl. 37A:1


  • Condition

    Large section flaked off centre of blade.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1893

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Iron sword; double-edged; oval upper and lower guard remains; pommel missing; organic remains on tang.



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Object reference number: MCS17254

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