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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


El Corazón del Caribe research project

Principle investigators

Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas 


  • British Academy
  • McDonald Institute
  • Air France

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Rock art discovered on Mona island

  • Galleried cave chambers

    The pre-Columbian iconography found in many of these cave systems extends through galleried chambers covering large portions of the walls and ceilings.

  • Finger incised patterns

    As well as clear figurative art there are also large finger incised patterns extending for metres through different cave alcoves.

  • Stalagmite growth

    Some of the finger incised designs have stalagmite growth over them providing a potential source of dating. These stalagmites can provide a date before which this rock art must have been made.

  • Pictographs

    Pictographs like this one are painted onto the cave wall using a pigment that appears to be made of a charcoal admixture.

  • Stylised face

    Stylised faces are a common feature of the iconography with certain forms like this one repeated consistently in different cave systems

  • Guabancex

    This figure with the swirling arms represents Guabancex, the pre-Columbian deity associated with the destructive force of the hurricane.

  • Figure

    This figure is identical to the famous Puerto Rican Sol de Jayuya rock art image found in central Puerto Rico.

  • Figure

    This figure is drawn upside down indicating a link to bat imagery yet with a leg style associated with frogs. This form of transformative art combining zoomorphic and anthropomorphic traits is common in the pre-Columbian Caribbean.

  • Continuous artistic stroke

    Many of these images require a skilful continuous artistic stroke of finger incision drawn across the cave ceiling over many metres.

  • Face

    This image of the frowning and contorted face hints at the commonly identified pre-Columbian use of these caves as locations for the taking of hallucigens.