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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


South Africa Landscape

Kew at the British Museum

Admission free  |  West lawn, Museum forecourt

Hop bush


Dodonaea viscosa

The hopbush can grow up to 5 metres tall and is found in grassy shrubland on lower mountain slopes and near the coast. More about this plant on www.kew.org

Related object in the collection

Digging stick

On display in room 25

The inhabitants of Elands Bay Cave in the Western Cape were making extensive use of Dodonaea viscosa wood for fuel between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Hopbush wood is extremely tough and durable, and has been used by the San people to make implements including digging sticks.

Read more on the collection database


Hopbush © Richard Wilford, Stephen Ruddy, RBG Kew
Digging stick, with point made of antelope horn
© Trustees of the British Museum

Digging stick


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