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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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  • Description

    Fragmentary gold foil from copper alloy strip on shield 1939,1010.94, having central boss, as 1939,1010.94.D. Two outer bands of zoomorphic and dotted decoration in relief. Boss is attached to centre of strip, which tapers at both ends. Animal interlace in gold foil fills the two long panels. Two borders to each panel, with dotted decoration. Rivet holes, at least six, appear in the gold foil decoration.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 39.5 centimetres
  • Bibliography

    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Fig.53 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    20 October 2005

    Treatment proposal

    Clean, consolidate, repair, repack as neccessary.


    Gold foil adhered to leather backing. There are small areas of loss of foil in places. adhesive and paint cover areas of the gold foil. Layer of fine black particulate dust over the surface.

    Treatment details

    the foil was consolidated to prevent further loss. Paint not soluble by swabbing with acetone, IMS or white spirit, so it could not be removed. the surface odf the foil and the reconstruction was cleaned by brushing the surface very gently with a sable brush and IMS and water and soaking up the excess solvent with a cotton wool swab. the object was repacked in a crystal box with plastazote and acid free tissue. The object registration number was marked on the outside of the box in permanent marker and on a tyvek label inserted under the packing.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: MCS8152

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