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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


Etruscan by definition

Project leader

Department of Greece and Rome 

Supported by

  • The British Museum
  • The British Museum Friends

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In December 2006 the British Museum staged a one-day international conference entitled ‘Etruscan by Definition’ consisting of papers on the theme of the cultural, regional and personal identity of the Etruscans. The conference was held in honour of one of the world’s leading Etruscologists, Dr. Sybille Haynes, MBE, as a tribute in her 80th year.

The contributions to the conference, covering an interesting variety of aspects of Etruscan civilization, will be published as a British Museum Research Paper at the end of 2007. They will also include a paper by Dr. Phil Perkins of the Open University which was given as the Annual Eva Lorant Memorial on the evening of the conference.


The conference aimed to define how the Etruscans saw themselves, to look at characteristically Etruscan artefacts and compare the products of different Etruscan centres. It considered the influence of the Etruscans on other cultures and vice versa , while examining Etruscan social and religious concepts and practices.

This project is now complete.

Judith Swaddling and Philip Perkins, eds, Etruscan by Definition: The Cultural, Regional and Personal Identity of the Etruscans, Papers in honour of Sybille Haynes, MBE, British Museum Research Publication 173

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Etruscan ivory sistrum or ceremonial rattle, decorated with lions’ heads, masks and gold inlay (GR 2005.7-7.1)

Etruscan ivory sistrum or ceremonial rattle, decorated with lions’ heads, masks and gold inlay. The discs, seen in profile, would have made a soft shuffling noise.