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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

    Iron pattern-welded sword blade, heavily oxidised; the blade is broad and tapers slightly towards the pointed tip. Near the hilt, two circular indentations mark the position of the two sheath bosses 1939,1010.26-27. Traces of the wooden sheath remain on the blade (1939,1010.95.C). For the hilt fittings, see 1939,1010.19-25.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC-7thC(early)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 72 centimetres (blade)
    • Length: 85.4 centimetres (overall, with scabbard and hilt)
  • Curator's comments

    The Sutton Hoo sword was not restored from fragments - it was lifted as a solid but rusted unit. A more proper description, based on the catalogue entry in Sutton Hoo, Volume I. p. 441, would read: pattern-welded iron blade rusted in an oxydised fur-lined wooden scabbard, bound round the top with tapes. ACE, 25 June 1990. Attached to 1939,1010.19 Attached to 1939,1010.20 Attached to 1939,1010.21 Attached to 1939,1010.22 Attached to 1939,1010.23 Attached to 1939,1010.24 Attached to 1939,1010.25


  • Bibliography

    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Figs.207, 209-212 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

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 1939,10-10,28 (former number)
COMPASS Title: Sword from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo;Sword;Sword

COMPASS Title: Sword from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo;Sword;Sword

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS7899

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