The cultural landscape of Funen, Denmark

An iron-age landscape

With the publication of all Funen Iron Age grave sites completed in 1974 an important tool was created for the study of the development of the Iron Age on Funen. In gathering archaeological knowledge, grave findings have always played a significant part. Until the 1970´s the graves represented the by far largest archaeological resource from the Iron Age on Funen. Today the situation has changed as a large increase of Iron Age settlements found, has resulted in extensive knowledge in this field which combined with the graves provides the most important source for the study of Iron Age society.

The project aim is to make this considerable resource available to the public and useful beyond Odense City Museums at a national and eventually international scale in a number of catalogue volumes. To coordinate this work a project group was established in May 1995 consisting of archaeological staff from the Odense City Museums.

The ongoing publication of the material from Funen will make it possible to study the iron-age settlement structure in a large geographically well-defined area of Denmark for the first time. This will be of great importance in three fields of work: 1) ongoing archaeological research. 2) easing the establishment of preservation measures for the remaining settlements from the Iron Age (modern farming, new roads and construction works in general are a serious threat to those sites only protected by the top soil),. 3) providing an overview of the development of houses and the positioning of settlements in the Iron Age cultural landscape from 500 BC to 1200 AD.

A complete mapping and publication of the Iron Age settlements on Funen can also help public authorities in strategically planning new construction works. Combined with the knowledge of other findings from the prehistoric and medieval times. data on Iron Age settlements will provide an excellent tool when it comes to pointing out historically sensitive and non-sensitive areas.


A scientific seminar dealing with different relevant topics will be held annually in connection with the publishing of the volumes. Researchers will be invited to present papers and seminar reports will be published.


Construction work and farming are the two most important factors when it comes to the destruction of invisible sub surface archaeological sites. A brochure will be made in order to reach the key audience in this respect (farmers, construction companies, county and state offices).


In order to make the results of the project accessible to an international audience a summary will be published in English together with the final volume (volume 4).


Project team:

Odense City Museums


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© 2005 Pathways to Cultural Landscapes

With the support of the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union