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Kaunisto Profile
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Leväluhta: a mystery of ancient Finland


In southwestern Finland there's a swamp called Levä(n)luhta. Since late 19th century bones have been found there - old bones. They are now assumed to be 1400 years old.
Among those bones there's very few objects of any value and no weapons. Also the place is unusual for burial; more typical would be an open hill. But the real mystery is the biology of these people: they are systematically smaller than ordinary Finns and the shape of skulls is unusual - size of brain smaller than with almost any European people.

Putting dead in swamp was a Germanic custom of punishment, for criminals and cursed they wanted to get rid of. Swamp was a limbo where the dead couldn't move on to next world nor return here. And there must've been various belief related to swamp around northern Europe.
How much Germanic tribes had contact all the way to Finland is unclear, but some writings of historian Tacitus have been assumed to refer Finns and that was already on first century.

The bones of Leväluhta include men, women and children. There are no signs of violence.
One theory of their deaths is famine created by the "three-year-winter" mentioned in Nordic sagas, assumed to result from a volcano and set on 530's.
Another obvious option is an epidemic disease.

Latest research explains the size and shape of Leväluhta people to be much closer of typical of their age than has been assumed. They were likely from some eastern Fenno-Ugric people.
It's also been shown that some of the objects found are reasonably valuable and that the bones are from very long time, ca. 300-700. But the peak is on 6th century.
Also studies of the geology have shown the place has propably been a lake at the time, not swamp like later. This explains why no clothes have survived.
Another modern finding is that clear majority are females.

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Nov/28/2010, 21:27 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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Re:


WOw, thanks for sharing that Kaunisto. It's very interesting.
Nov/29/2010, 6:15 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Petal Alderin Profile
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Fascinating stuff - and interesting that most of them were females.

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Dec/1/2010, 11:03 Link to this post Send PM to Petal Alderin
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re:


Happened to see documentary on this.

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Dec/1/2010, 20:41 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: Leväluhta: a mystery of ancient Finland


Read more about this the other day. There hasn't been dramatic breakthrough, but some interesting findings.
Some objects tell about connections to more developed peoples. A bronze pot of late Roman times is valuable item, more ornamental than practical. This and others suggest the dead were wealthy or respected... but most are women and children?

Burying to lake is somewhat rare custom among cultures. It is assumed burning was the most common method among pre-christian Finns. But then again few places have such density of rivers and lakes.

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Oct/7/2013, 20:59 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 


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