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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

    a. Gold sword-pommel of cocked-hat form, comprising five curved panels decorated with inlaid cloisonné garnet work, including quatrefoil and step-cut cells. Each panel is divided by lines of very thick beaded wire. On either side of the pommel are two rivets, each with beaded wire collars, which attach the pommel to the guard plates 1939,1010.21-22. The pommel itself sits on a long oval base-plate.
    b. Gold filigree collar from pommel.
    c. Small gold rivet from pommel, set on perspex.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 5.3 centimetres
    • Width: 1.7 centimetres
    • Weight: 51.29 grammes (incl upper plate no. 20)
  • Curator's comments

    Part of 1939,1010.95

  • Bibliography

    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Figs.217-220 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2002 13 Mar-26 Sep, Woodbridge, The National Trust-Sutton Hoo Exhibition Centre, Warriors
    1980 10 Mar-30 Sep, Sweden, Stockholm, Statens Historika Museum, The Vikings are Here

  • Condition

    The beaded wire bordering the garnet-inlaid panels is very worn in places.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Image Caption: Detail of hilt

COMPASS Image Caption: Detail of hilt

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS15918

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