Stone Age
Mesolithic Period:
The first inhabitants

The population settles
Neolithic Period:
New discovery: pottery

Settlement of South Karelia in the Neolithic Period
How did people live in the Stone Age
Lake Saimaa and Stone-Age habitation
Shorelevel displacement
Map of sites
Early Metal Age
Map of sites
Iron Age
Early Iron Age
Late Iron Age:
Viking Period

The time of the Crusades
The prehistoric period comes to an end
Map of sites
The prehistoric period comes to an end with the appearance of the first written records. In eastern Finland, these were border agreements. With the Treaty of Pähkinäsaari, the border ran through Haukkavuori Hill in Rautjärvi, as it also did under the peace treaties of Täyssinä (1595) and Uusikaupunki (1721). The picture shows Haukkavuori Hill, with a border mark from the Peace Treaty of Uusikaupunki carved into the rock in the foreground. Picture, South Karelian Museum.
Rise of the eastern border
The Crusades and wars were also battles for the possession of interior and eastern Finland. Sweden and Novgorod concluded the Treaty of Pähkinäsaari "for ever and ever" on 12 August 1323, dividing the contested areas in two. Novgorod relinquished the districts of Savo, Äyräpää and Jääski to Sweden, and in return received control of the eastern part of the Karelian isthmus and Ladoga Karelia. Thus the area inhabited by Karelians was also split, and the Karelian tribe was divided between east and west.

The Peace Treaty of Pähkinäsaari signalled an end to the prehistoric period in eastern Finland and Finland acquired its first national border on the east. The borderline was not delineated the length of the terrain, so when a fire later destroyed the treaty, the border was unclear, especially in the north. The border started at Siestarjoki River (Rajajoki, "The Border River") on the Gulf of Finland. It continued through what is now South Karelia along Lake Purnujärvi in Rautjärvi, probably along Lake Pitkäjärvi and Lake Ylimmäinen, to Lake Torsanjärvi and on to Haukkavuori Hill.