Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Sammallahdenmäki, Finland

Receiving official postcrossing cards from Finland is always very nice, it's a shame it doesn't happen all *that* much anymore. ...although I'm not sure if I can really say anything these days as I haven't been awfully active with the official site. ...and speaking of Finland and Postcrossing, I'm really happy that the Islands are finally considered their own country. About time, too, I'd been wondering for ages why they didn't have their own country code when so many other similar places did. Anyway, this post is not about Åland but Finland, sorry for rambling.


Sammallahdenmäki is a Bronze age burial site in Finland in Lappi municipality. It was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999, and includes 36 granite burial cairns dating back more than 3,000 years, to 1,500 to 500 BC. It is located on a hill in a remote area off the road between Tampere and Rauma. Originally, it was near the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, but the land has risen so it is now 15 kilometers from the sea. It is one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Scandinavia.

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 weirdly shaped stamp is from a set of five stamps issued earlier this year, with the theme "branches of friendship". Supposedly the thing on the left is a bird.. They sure aren't too conservative with stamps over there! The smaller stamps are from a set of 6 definitives issued in 2008, with the theme 'water & landscape views'.

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