The first two periods of our history are on the whole exclusively documented via material relics, i.e. artefacts and not written sources. There are, of course, the runes which emerge in the first couple of centuries AD, but their use is restricted to brief inscriptions on jewellery, tools and weapons - typically in the form of the name of the person who made or owned the item in question. In the Viking Age (800-1050), runes were used for longer pieces of text on gravestones, but it is not until the transition to Christianity and the Middle Ages that written sources are available on a large scale. And advances are not all that swift, so much of our knowledge of the medieval period is the result of archaeological sources.
What is left, then, are the material relics - archaeological specimens - and here we are not at all badly off, for the archaeological source material on Funen is quite simply enormous. Based on the finds already made over the past 150 years along with the new finds constantly being made in connection with, among other things, archaeological excavations, archaeologists at Odense City Museums seek via exhibitions, books and articles, the website as well as lectures and guided tours to provide a picture of what it was like to live on Funen during the earliest part of its history.