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Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki

Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki

This Bronze Age burial site features more than 30 granite burial cairns, providing a unique insight into the funerary practices and social and religious structures of northern Europe more than three millennia ago.

Site funéraire de l'âge du bronze de Sammallahdenmäki

La trentaine de tumulus funéraires en granit du cimetière de l'âge du bronze de Sammallahdenmäki constituent un témoignage exceptionnel des pratiques funéraires et des structures sociales et religieuses de l'Europe du Nord d'il y a plus de trois millénaires.

مقابر سمنلهدنماكي التي تعود للعصر البرونزي

تشكّل الأبنية الحجرية فوق المقابر ذات الشكل المخروطي المصنوعة من الغرانيت والتي يُقدّر عددها بحوالي ثلاثين والعائدة للعصر البرونزي نموذجاً رائعاً للممارسات الجنائزية والبنى الاجتماعية والدينية في أوروبا الشمالية منذ ما يزيد عن ثلاثة آلاف سنة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

塞姆奥拉德恩青铜时代墓地遗址

考古学家在塞姆奥拉德恩青铜器时代墓葬遗址发现了30个花岗岩石冢,让人们能够深入研究3000多年前北欧地区的葬礼习俗和社会宗教体系。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Погребальный комплекс бронзового века Саммаллахденмяки

Погребальный комплекс бронзового века содержит более 30 гранитных надгробий-насыпей (cairns) и предоставляет уникальные свидетельства об обычаях погребения, социальных и религиозных структурах, бытовавших в Северной Европе более 3 тыс. лет назад.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Sitio funerario de la Edad del Bronce de Sammallahdenmäki

Este cementerio de la Edad del Bronce, que posee unos treinta túmulos funerarios de granito, constituye un testimonio incomparable de las prácticas fúnebres y las estructuras sociales y religiosas imperantes en el norte de Europa hace más de tres milenios.

source: UNESCO/ERI

サンマルラハデンマキの青銅器時代の石塚墳

source: NFUAJ

Sammallahdenmäki, begraafplaats uit de bronstijd

Op de begraafplaats Sammallahdenmäki liggen meer dan 30 granieten graven in de vorm van steenhopen, die een uniek inzicht geven in de funeraire praktijken en sociale en religieuze structuren van Noord-Europa meer dan drie millennia geleden. De site wordt geassocieerd met rituelen ter verering van de zon. In het gebied werd veel brons gebruikt terwijl er geen koper of tin is te vinden. Deze werden verworven door middel van handel en uitwisseling. De bronstijd in Skandinavië was tussen 1.500 en 500 voor Christus.

Source: unesco.nl

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Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki © Public Domain
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (iii): The Sammallahdenmäki cairn cemetery bears exceptional witness to the society of the Bronze Age of Scandinavia.

Criterion (iv): The Sammallahdenmäki cemetery is an outstanding example of Bronze Age funerary practices in Scandinavia.

Long Description

The Sammallahdenmäki cairn cemetery bears exceptional witness to the society, and especially the funerary practices, of the Bronze Age of Scandinavia. The Scandinavian Bronze Age culture, 1500-500 BC, included the coastal zone of continental Finland and the land archipelago. Bronze is extensively represented in its material culture, although neither copper nor tin is to be found in the area, the metals being largely acquired through trade and exchange. The value of the objects is enhanced by their association with burials and religious sites, such as cairns and other types of grave.

Stone burial cairns constructed of boulders, without earth fill, over cists of stone or wood, were erected on cliffs with a view on the sea all along the coast of Finland; more than 3,000 have been identified. They contained both cremation and inhumation burials of members of the community with all the associated funerary objects (grave goods).

The site is associated with Sun worship rituals, a cult that spread from Scandinavia over the entire region. It is also a manifestation of land ownership by kinship groups, a practice introduced with agriculture. At the time the hill of Sammallahdenmäki was completely bare of trees and was probably chosen for its unimpeded view of the sea and its openness to the Sun in all directions. The settlement of the people buried here has not yet been identified.

The Sammallahdenmäki cemetery includes 33 burial cairns and is the largest and best cairn site in all Finland; of the cairns, 28 can be securely dated to the early Bronze Age. They lie along the crest and upper slopes of a 700 m long ridge, and are disposed in several distinct clusters. The structures were built using granite boulders that were quarried from the cliff face below the crest of the ridge or collected from the site itself. Some are also built from drystone masonry. They can be classified into several different groups according to their shapes and sizes: small low round cairns, large mound-like cairns, and round walled cairns. They enclose cists made from stone slabs.

The site also contains two unusual structures. One is oval and elongated and seems to have been enlarged in three successive stages. It contains only charcoal, no bones of any sort having ever been found. The other is a large quadrangular cairn, known as the Church Floor (Kirkonlaatia ), which is unique in Finland and extremely rare in Scandinavia. Its surface is flat, it has no outer wall, and the layers of stones are thinner towards the centre. Excavations revealed an internal structure in the centre made from stone flags. It is still difficult to determine whether this structure is linked with religious ceremonies or whether it is a tomb. None of the Sammallahdenmäki cairns have produced any bronze implements. Their layout and location indicates that these cairns most probably belong to the early Bronze Age.

The degree of authenticity of the site is very high. The cairns are built from granite, which does not erode easily. The surroundings have remained untouched and the cairns themselves have been subject to very little disturbance. The remote location of the site has protected it from development, and the local population has taken pride in protecting it.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The Scandinavian Bronze Age culture, from 1500 BC to 500 BC, included the coastal zone of continental Finland and the land archipelago. Bronze is extensively represented in its material culture, although neither copper nor tin is to be found in the area, the metals being largely acquired through trade and exchange. The value of the objects is enhanced by their association with burials and religious sites, such as cairns and other types of grave.

Stone burial cairns constructed of boulders, without earth fill, over cists of stone or wood, were erected on cliffs with a view on the sea all along the coast of Finland; more than 3000 have been identified. They contained both cremation and inhumation burials of members of the community with all the associated funerary objects (grave goods).

The site of Sammallahdenmäki is associated with sun worship rituals, a cult which spread from Scandinavia over the entire region. It is also a manifestation of land ownership by kinship groups, a practice introduced with agriculture. At the time the hill of Sammallahdenmäki was completely bare of trees and was probably chosen for its unimpeded view of the sea and its openness to the sun in all directions.

Four cairns were excavated in 1891, leading to a better understanding of their contents and of their use. The number of known cairns is greater than the number of known settlements from this period. Thus, the spread of human population can be better observed through the distribution of graves. Many cairns are directly associated with settlements, most probably those of their builders, but the settlement of the people buried at Sammallahdenmäki has not yet been identified

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation