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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

 

Geology of Happisburgh

The deposits found at Happisburgh containing artefacts have been named the Hill House Formation, after the Hill House public house, in Happisburgh village, 200 metres from the site and directly above the inland continuation of the ancient river channel. The sediments consist of gravels and estuarine silts laid down by the early river Thames.

 

Fine-grained estuarine deposits of the early river Thames at Happisburgh
  • Fine-grained estuarine deposits of the early river Thames at Happisburgh. Palaeomagnetic analysis shows that these sediments were deposited during a period of reversed magnetism – when the north and south poles swap. The reversed magnetism, together with a range of plants and now extinct mammals, provide critical evidence suggesting that the artefacts date from between 700,000 and 900,000 years ago. Phil Crabb, Natural History Museum, London

  • Layers of silt and gravel show how the river Thames that once flowed through Happisburgh changed over time. Gravel was deposited by fast flowing water forming gravel bars that were buried by layers of finely laminated silt and sand as estuarine conditions developed.

  • By drilling through the beach and retrieving samples, geologists have gained a better understanding of the complex geology of the crag basin. In 1966, one such borehole recovered a complete sequence through the deposits at Happisburgh, reaching Chalk bedrock at about 26 metres below beach level.

Fine-grained estuarine deposits of the early river Thames at Happisburgh. Palaeomagnetic analysis shows that these sediments were deposited during a period of reversed magnetism – when the north and south poles swap. The reversed magnetism, together with a range of plants and now extinct mammals, provide critical evidence suggesting that the artefacts date from between 700,000 and 900,000 years ago. Phil Crabb, Natural History Museum, London