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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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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Fragments of wood with gold foil attached; one slightly crumpled piece (dimensions given) displays distinct interlace pattern. From shield strip 1939,1010.94.M.1.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 3.3 centimetres
    • Width: 1.5 centimetres
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    12 October 2005

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Clean, consolidate, repair & repack as necessary.


    Wood and gold foil fragments are in fragile condition. Packing is inadequate.

    Treatment details

    Some of the wood fragments were reconstructed by using HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate). Gold foils were consolidated by using 5 % Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/ Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) 50:50. Two melinex sheets binded together with magic tape was used as a small folder to keep the fragile gold foils in. A wood fragment with a gold foil attached to it was backed with a piece of nylon gossamer and 30% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/ Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) 50:50. All fragments were packed in a small crystal box with a plastazote padding.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: MCS8109

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