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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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buckle

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1939,1010.11

  • Description

    Gold buckle with rectangular plate. The buckle-end has cut-away shoulders near the loop, which is of smooth plain gold and swivels on a hinge. The tongue, also of plain gold, is fixed. The rectangular plate consists of a central panel of inlaid garnet cloisonné work formed of a mass of irregular cells, with cloisonné borders along each long side. At the end of the buckle is a shelf, set slightly lower than the rectangular plate, and set with three gold rivets with beaded wire collars, interspersed with step-cut garnet cloisonné work. These rivets connect with the plain gold back-plate. There are two more rivets with beaded wire collars, heads facing downwards, beneath the shoulders.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 7.3 centimetres
    • Width: 2.3 centimetres
    • Weight: 64.92 grammes
  • Bibliography

    • Tait 1976 198 bibliographic details
    • Tait 1986a 243 bibliographic details
    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Figs.337-338 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G41/dc1

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2008 22 Aug-7 Dec, Germany, Bonn, Kunst and Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Rome and the Barbarians
    2008 28 Jan-20 Jul, Italy, Venice, Palazzo Grassi, Rome and the Barbarians
    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

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1939

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1939,1010.11

  • Additional IDs

    • 1939,10-10,7 (former number)
COMPASS Title: Buckle from the sword belt from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo

COMPASS Title: Buckle from the sword belt from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo

Image description

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Object reference number: MCS15426

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