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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


woodcut (Scope note)

This term is a variety of relief printmaking using a wooden block, from which the background is cut away leaving the design standing in relief to be inked and printed. The distinction between wood-engraving and woodcut is between hard end-grain wood (usually boxwood) cut across the grain with engraving tools (wood-engraving), and soft-grain wood cut along the grain with a knife and gouge (woodcut). With Japanese prints, the term 'woodblock' is traditionally used in preference to ''woodcut'. The type of wood used for woodcut/woodblock is always a soft wood: in Japan it is usually cherry, in the West pear, lime wood or similar. A chiaroscuro woodcut is a variety of colour woodcut printed in tones of one colour; each tone is printed from a separate block.