The Astuvansalmi rock paintings, Ristiina

4.5
#3 of 11 in Parks in Southern Savonia
The Astuvansalmi rock paintings are located in Ristiina, Mikkeli, Southern Savonia, Finland at the shores of the lake Yövesi, which is a part of the large lake Saimaa. The paintings are 7.7 to 11.8 metres above the water-level of lake Saimaa. The lake level was much higher at the time the rock paintings were made. There are about 70 paintings in the area.
The rock paintings were officially found by the Finnish archaeologist Pekka Sarvas in 1968, though locals knew of them before that.
The rock where the paintings are located looks like a human head, the form especially visible during wintertime when viewed from the ice of the lake. The rock has presumably been some kind of a cult or ceremony site. The images of elk in Finnish rock paintings may be related to ‘animal ceremonialism’, whereupon the continuity of the hunted species is guaranteed by a ritual in which the animal is sent back to its ‘owner’.
The oldest paintings were made about 3000–2500 BC. They are located at the highest level (about 11 metres). The water level changed rapidly (about 2.5 metres) with the landslide of Vuoksi. Later on the level slowly went down 8 metres to its present level. All the later paintings were made from boats during the different historical water-levels.
Other archeological artefacts have been found on the site, at the bottom of the lake, among them small amber statuettes of old gods (Ukko and Akka). Some animal jewellery was also found, one showing a bear head. The jewellery and statuettes refer to some religious ceremonies held on the site.
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The Astuvansalmi rock paintings Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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TripAdvisor
  • You can combine 2.5 km hike and 5000 years old rock paintings for the same visit. First you need to get to the marked trail, which starts about 20 km from Ristiina. The path is not suitable for disabl...  more »
  • The end of the journey the road about 40 km from Mikkeli shabby paved, but definitely want to return the same way back to the asphalt-covered shunting areas. Namely, the P-15 km from the long road ahead, continuing changes about even more huonokuntoisemmaksi gravel road!!! P-place, when the leaves branch off to the left as soon as the visible path, which seurailemalla you arrive at the beach with rock paintings. The journey is the period of time longer than the map in kilometres. The trail is not marked, the path is Rocky, hilly, juurakkokkoinen. In between will have to cross water obstacles, they will succeed because the bridge is ok! but the duckboards pathetic. The path to the top is at some point crashed big tree, but kansalliaarteesta, it does not seem to be of interest to anyone! According to drink and pikkueväät (bring the garbage out of the backpack, there are no debris) Arrive at the pier, and WORK (for emergency cases, a fairly rough smell float outside, so not even attracted to see the inside, fortunately, was not an emergency) The paintings stand out pretty badly, but the emergency has a good history lesson, as well as clarifications of the illustrations, in which case they will open ShareName. The area has the potential to become your own boat. The area will be organized guided boat trips, which is worth considering.
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