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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

    Mask made of plaster.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Exhibition history


    2003 15 Dec-2009 Jun, BM, 'Living and Dying'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    12 June 2003

    Treatment proposal

    Light clean. Repair left ear.


    The mask is lightly dirty. The tip of the left ear is split and requires support. There are several cracks around various joints, particulalry the right ear to the head. The spiders legs to the body of the spider.

    Treatment details

    The mask was cleaned with a soft brush and a low suction vacuum cleaner. Wishab sponge (vulcanized latex,filler) was used to remove further loose dirt, the residue was removed with a low suction vacuum cleaner. The mask still looked slightly dusty so further cleaning was undertaken using cotton swabs dampened with reverse osmosis water.

    The ears was repaired by filling the split with a pulp made from Japanese tissue coloured withLiquitex acrylic artist colour (composition unknown) and mixed with HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate). Further support was provided by supporting the join with Reemay adhered with 20% Klucel G (hydroxypropyl cellulose) in reverse osmosis water, coloured with Liquitex acrylic artist colour (composition unknown).

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: ESA31604

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