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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


Politics, ritual
and religion:

state formation
in early India

Principle investigator

Department of Asia 

Project director, India

  • Dr. K.K. Maheshwari, Indian Numismatic, Historical and Cultural Research Foundation

Supported by

The Leverhulme Trust

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From about 320 to 550 CE, the Gupta dynasty dominated South Asia. The period of the Guptas was marked by relative political stability and an astonishing florescence in every field of endeavour. Sometimes characterized as a 'Golden Age', this was a pivotal moment in Asian history

Viewed through modern intellectual, geographical and political boundaries the diverse cultures, complex polities and varied networks of the Gupta period - from the Tarim basin to Burma and beyond - remain specialist subjects. The aim of this project is to move beyond these boundaries for the first time and so recover this profoundly influential civilisation.

Rock-crystal seal of king Avarighsa

Rock-crystal seal of king Avarighsa.
Western India, 4th century

About the project

map showing the position of the Gupta Kingdom

The Gupta kingdom and its networks had an enduring impact on India and a profound reach across central and southeast Asia in a host of cultural, religious and socio-political spheres.

The research team, based in the British Museum, will delineate and assess the significance of the Gupta Age and its pan-Asian impacts.

More about the project and research aims 

Project research

gold coin of Kumaragupta I

As the project continues, the research outputs will be highlighted here.

Maps showing epigraphic find-spots and related archaeological sites 

Images: Bottom left: map showing the position of the Gupta Kingdom. Middle: gold coin of Kumaragupta I. 
Bottom right: Udayagiri, central India.