What just happened?

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


Project team


Supported by

  • The British Museum
  • The British Institute at Ankara
  • University of Manchester

Share this project

About the project

The Middle East is where agriculture (around 9,500 BC) and cities emerged (around 3,500 BC). Research at Domuztepe aims to increase our knowledge of how societies developed between these two milestones.

Large areas at the site have been excavated, accompanied by detailed analysis of the finds recovered. Between 1997 and 2003 a highly complex burial was excavated, called the ‘Death Pit’. The burial probably took place over a few weeks and had several phases. The earliest layer was mainly animal bones, apparently from large scale feasting. Later deposits included the remains of up to 40 people. The bodies had been heavily fragmented and cannibalism may have taken place. After the Death Pit was filled, it was covered in a thick layer of ash and marked with large posts. Further deposits of human remains were placed around its edges.

The main focus has been on excavation at the site itself. In particular examining the organisation of architecture, open space and boundaries within the settlement, alongside investigations of ritual practices and usage of plants, animals and artefacts. Increasingly we are also looking at the relationship between the site and its local environment as well as its links to more distant regions.

Hollow female figure painted with bands of dots; possibly representing jewellery

Hollow female figure painted with bands of dots; possibly representing jewellery