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
scene missing
Lapp cairns were built on rocky headlands along the shore. The picture shows a Lapp cairn at Salminiemi in Ruokolahti. Picture, South Karelian Museum / Minna Kähtävä-Marttinen.

Drawing of a fragment of Luukonsaari ceramic from the Early Metal Age in Utula. Drawing, National Board of Antiquities.
The era of metal
In East Finland the Stone Age evolved slowly into the Bronze Age. Because of the scarcity of artefacts and the slow adoption of metal, particularly for inland areas we speak of the Early Metal Age, which encompasses the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age.

Primitive agriculture and Lapp cairns
The area that is today Russia had an influence on the use of metal. Adoption of metal did not change the Stone-Age way of life based on hunting and migratory settlements. However, in the interior of the country primitive farming became a way of life during the Early Metal Age: pollen studies conducted on peat layers at the Syrjälänsuo swamp in Taipalsaari disclosed barley-like crop dust from the 1400s B.C. The manner of burying the dead also changed gradually. The coastal custom of burial cairns became common in the interior. In cairn burials, the deceased was cremated along with his or her possessions, and a cairn of stones was piled on top of the ashes. The cairns were built in beautiful locations on high rocks overlooking bodies of water. In interior Finland, the cairns from the Early Metal Age are known as Lapp cairns. As the period progressed, people also gradually learned how to make metal objects, first from bronze and later from iron.

Very little is known about the Early Metal Age in South Karelia. Ceramics from this period, such as textile ceramics and the Luukonsaari ceramics, have been found only occasionally in the region, often at the same dwelling sites where Stone-Age pottery has been found. The new period can be seen most clearly in the introduction of the Lapp cairns. Lapp cairns have been found at Ruokolahti and Taipalsaari.