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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


Online tours: Museum and exhibitions

Arabic Script: Mightier than the Sword

Explore the beauty and meaning of Arabic writing through inscribed objects and examples of calligraphy from all over the Islamic lands.

The art of glass

A tour of some of the finest examples of glass from the British Museum collections, spanning over three thousand years

Audio description tour

A tour of objects with audio descriptions for blind and partially sighted visitors

Badges: symbols of identity

An exploration of the symbolic power of badges to express identity and belonging, belief and dissent.

Changing face: masks from the British Museum

Masks for the living, masks for the dead, masks for entertainment and ritual, and a mask that was never meant to be worn at all....


A selection of objects relating to different faiths, with commentaries written by young people.

A kind of magic

Talismans, charms and amulets from the British Museum

Word into art

A tour of contemporary artworks that show how writing continues as a powerful basis for Middle Eastern art today.

The 250th Anniversary Medal

Featuring the designs of the artists invited to take part in the competition. The winner, John Maine, writes about some of the artefacts in the Museum that have inspired him.