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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


24 May – 30 September 2012

The exhibition is now closed

Royal Patron:
HM Queen Elizabeth II

A Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Supported by

Saudi Equestrian Fund logo
Layan Cultural Foundation logo
Juddmonte Farm logo

Recommend this exhibition

Explore the collection through horses


Tang horse (China, AD mid-700s)

The Silk Road

One of the most important international trade links ever to have existed was the long-distance land route between the Middle East and China, known as the Silk Road.

More about The Silk Road 


Paulus Potter, drawing of a horse harnessed to a cart (Netherlands, AD 1650s)

Beasts of Burden

For thousands of years, people have sought to harness the power of animals to make our own lives easier.

More about Beasts of Burden 


Horse-drawn mail, print by George Hunt, after James Pollard (London AD 1825–36)

Getting about

We can chart the history of human development with the history of how people have developed means of travelling, be it short or long distances.

More about Getting about 


Oxus Treasure (Iran, 500–300 BC)


Ceremonial, hunting, battle, racing, chariots are lightweight two-wheeled vehicles usually pulled by horses or sometimes other draught animals.

More about Chariots 


Amphora showing scene from a chariot race (Greece, 500–480 BC)

Ancient Olympics - modern Olympics

The ancient Olympics were held every four years from 776 BC to 393 BC at Olympia in Greece.

More about Ancient Olympics - modern Olympics