What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Disc (with mask) made of gold.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 101 millimetres
    • Depth: 44 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    B&M Extracts Register, 1903-1921, p.20. Object marked "1904,10-13.1" in error. (3/1990).McEwan 2009
    This hammered gold disk is likely to have been used as a pendant ear ornament. At the centre is the embossed head of a Manteño lord himself wearing ear ornaments and with a tri-lobed cap bearing a repeated motif of concentric circles.
    Around the circumference runs a border of smaller panels enclosing either a bat with curling snout and outstreched wings or the head of another creature with pairs of curling volutes. Both allude to the hidden powers of the night-time realm and the underworld.


  • Bibliography

    • McEwan 2009 pp. 100-101 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    1996, London, Museum of Mankind (Room 1), 'Gilded Image'

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: ESA8186

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help