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Finland and estonia in each other's images of prehistory: building national myths/ Eesti ja soome teineteise esiajaloo kujutlustes: rahvuslike muutide loomine.


How has the prehistoric relationship between Finland and Estonia been used as a means to construct and define Finnish or Estonian identity in these countries? Have these neighbours represented similarity or difference to one another? How have Finland and Estonia and their inhabitants been represented in the prehistory myths of the neighbouring country and people from the 1880s to the 1940s? Here I attempt to analyse what the central elements of national prehistory myths were by connecting archaeological interpretations to their historical background. A special methodological framework is provided by the history of ideas and cultural semiotics. Nevertheless, no special semiotic analysis is presented here (see Salminen 2003, 25 f., 152 ff., 168 ff.). Nor are relations with other neighbours such as Sweden and Russia for Finland and Russia and Latvia for Estonia examined here, but are regarded as a research problem for the future.

The concepts of Finland and Estonia are used in a technical sense without reference to the existence of any state formations or experienced identities in the region.

I understand the concept of myth here according to Roland Banhes' definition. A myth comes into being when an object is transferred from concrete reality to another space where it is meant for consumption and provided with special meanings. Myth is meant for certain receivers and has a special significance just for them. It may change the original meaning of the material (Barthes 1957/1994, 173 ff.). Therefore it is not enough to label an interpretation a myth or politically motivated if it differs from our own. Instead, it must have a special use and spread to general consciousness. Nor does a myth need to be a false assumption; also a tenable result of research can serve as a myth.

The archaeological neighbour image in the 1870s and 1880s

In late 19th-century Finland, archaeology was used as a means of political struggle for and against the rights of the Finnish language. (On the role of archaeology in the 19th and early 20th-century cultural nationalism in general, see Hides 1996, 36 ff.; Jones & Graves-Brown 1996.) From the 1860s onwards, pro-Finnish Fennoman research in prehistory, culture and language considered as its aim to show that Finns have a past and culture and to define Finnishness (Salminen 2003, 33 ff, 43 ff.). Linguistics initiated the search for national roots, because languages were specifically regarded as bearing and reflecting national identity. In the case of Finland, M. A. Castren (1813-1852), following the views of the Danish scholar Rasmus Rask (1787-1832), wanted to locate the original home of the Finns in the Altai Mountains. In the late 1860s, when J. R. Aspelin (1842-1915) became the first archaeologist to participate in seeking the origins of the Finns, he set his goals entirely according to Castren's guidelines. Archaeology followed in the footsteps of linguistics (Korhonen 1986, 40 ff.; Renfrew 1996, 127 ff.; Salminen 2003, 35 ff., 47 ff., 170 ff.; Hakkinen 2004, 28 ff.).

This would not have been possible without a migrationist view of prehistory. Although Oscar Montelius in particular considered the role of cultural diffusion important and also the significance of local innovations was recognized, large-scale migrations were regarded as the undercurrent of all human history (Aspelin 1875, 55, 131 ff., 210 f.; Trigger 2006, 217 ff).

The first Finnish image of Baltic prehistory was outlined by J. R. Aspelin in the 1870s and 1880s. Following professor Constantin Grewingk (1819-1887), Aspelin assumed the Early Iron Age people in the Baltic to have been Gothic. Also the south-west Finnish population would have been Germanic. Pushed onward by the Slavs, the Baltic Finnish immigrants would have arrived in Estonia and Finland during the 5th-7th centuries.

Aspelin came to the conclusion that the common forefathers of the Finns and the Estonians had wandered from the east in the Middle Iron Age and had been divided by the Gulf of Finland. Most Finns would have come to Finland at that time. The Finns of Finland Proper (south-west Finland) would have followed the Estonians, though, and crossed the Gulf of Finland later. In both countries they would have displaced the Germanic population. The population of Finland would have been Finnic by the 7th century.

In his Muinaisjaannoksia Suomen suvun asumus-aloilta--Antiquites du nord finno-ougrien in 1884 Aspelin described the Late Iron Age Estonians as feared seafarers who were allied with the Slavs in creating Ancient Rus, until this foreign power became a threat to their independence and to defend it they turned against their earlier allies. Fighting the Russians, the "brave and energetic" Estonian people weakened so much that they lost their independence and were subjugated by Germans and Danes (Aspelin 1875, 327 ff.; 1877-1884, 355 f.; 1885, 44 ff.).

Antiquites was meant for international and scholarly audiences. For general Finnish readers Aspelin wrote the small book Suomen asukkaat Pakanuuden aikana (The Inhabitants of Finland in Heathen Times) in 1885.

For our purposes it is irrelevant whether the groups recognized by Aspelin as prehistoric peoples really existed or had special group identities. It suffices here that they existed in the classifiers' minds. Archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th century mostly analysed ethnicity in a technical sense, following the examples of the natural sciences, and did not say much about possible ethnical consciousness in prehistory. (On the relationship between archaeological cultures and ethnic groups in Finnish archaeology, see Salminen 2006 with cited literature.)

J. R. Aspelin became convinced of his national and especially Finno-Ugric duty during a visit to Tartu in 1869. He became acquainted with Estonian nationalist circles, especially the Jannsen family, and began to support them. Aspelin's contacts with Estonia gained a more concrete archaeological meaning in 1880, when he and Hjalmar Appelgren (1853-1937, from 1906 Appelgren-Kivalo) carried out excavations with Jaan Jung (1835-1900) a teacher of Abja. In the early 1870s Aspelin had carried out excavations and museum research in Russia in order to fmd an archaeological explanation of the migration of the Finns from their assumed Altaic original home to the Baltic Sea. After his journey to Livonia he published the fifth and last booklet of his Antiquites, presenting the assumed Finno-Ugric past to international readers (Wahle 1950, 95 ff; Lougas 1988, 43; Salminen 1996, 43 f; 2003, 66 f. with references to archival sources).

In order to achieve his goal Aspelin had to provide elements indicating the "Finnish tribe", and in later stage of prehistory with respective meanings for the assumed peoples in question. Further significations were needed for communicating with different audiences. From the present-day point of view, the Finno-Ugric past was a constructed reality and myth. The 19th-century scholars felt that they were searching for something that had really happened and were conducting their work according to strict scientific principles. Their results achieved a mythical role, because they responded to the demand for a signified national past, and over the next decades they were used as a basis for both new research and a popular image of prehistory. Establishing a national cultural image both at home and abroad required a presentation of the origins of the people and its relationship with its neighbours. In the Finnish context it was actualized in the late 19th century and internationally presented in both publications and at the World's Fairs of 1889 and 1900 (Aspelin 1877-1884; Smeds 1996, 163 ff; Salminen 2003 with references; on the popular image of prehistory, see Fewster 2006, 99 f, 142 ff.).

The Baltic was actually relatively unimportant for the so-called Ural-Altaic archaeological theory. Aspelin regarded the ancestors of the Finns to have been in Russia and Siberia, while Estonia represented a later period, after the Finns and Estonians had already separated from each other and thus had no essential significance for the Finnish self-image. Archaeologically Aspelin emphasized differences rather than similarities between the two countries. For ideological reasons it was important, though, to strengthen a feeling of affinity between Finns and Estonians and therefore a positive image of prehistory was also necessary. For that reason also the scarcity of archaeological material from the Baltic should not be overlooked. Therefore also the "other" was the same for both Finns and Estonians in this image, i.e. the Russians (Aspelin 1875; 1877-1884; 1885).

The assumed shared origins of the Finns and the Estonians did become an important source of inspiration for Finno-Ugric ideological pursuits in the late 19th century. Aspelin himself took part in different attempts to found a society for scholarly and ideological Finno-Ugric efforts in Finland in the early 1880s. Some of the plans concentrated on Finnish-Estonian relations, while others were of a more general character. They resulted in founding the scholarly Finno-Ugrian Society in 1883 (Salminen 2003, 43 f; 2008, 10 ff.).

Baltic German cultural superiority

The Baltic German scholars sought and found traces of primarily the Germans in the Baltic, for two reasons. Firstly, an interest in one's own (people's) roots was an essential part of all archaeology in Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th century. Secondly, the Russian central authorities threatened the Baltic Germans' privileges, and a Germanic (Gothic) ethnographic continuity from prehistory to the present, complete with cultural superiority, was useful for defending their rights. The native Finno-Ugric people were assumed to have been at a primitive level of culture. The so-called Gothic theory was formulated by Professor Constantin Grewingk; opposition against it arose already in the 19th century but this model remained prevalent until the 1920s (Tvauri 2003; Lang 2006b, 15 ff.).

Finland could not have any important role in a context of this kind. When writing about the Stone Age in the Baltic region, Constantin Grewingk assumed the original population of the Baltic region and Finland to have been Finnic. According to him, new Germanic immigrants arrived in the region in the Early Iron Age (Grewingk 1874, 66 ff., 85 ff., 106 ff.; 1888, 54 ff.; Salminen 2003, 61; 2007b, 41; Tvauri 2003).

J. R. Aspelin denied the existence of a Finno-Ugric population in the Baltic before the Middle Iron Age, because it did not fit the theory of migration from Siberia to Europe during the Bronze and Iron Ages (Aspelin 1875, 49 ff). It is probable that Aspelin also wanted to oppose the Baltic German conception of primitive Finno-Ugrians, because it was precisely the opposite of what he wanted to demonstrate.

New significance for the neighbouring country in the early 20th century

In Die altere Eisenzeit in Finnland from 1905, Alfred Hackman (1864-1942) assumed that the ancestors of the Finns arrived in Finland in the Early Roman Iron Age from Estonia, approximately 400 years earlier than Aspelin had believed. To make that possible there should have been a Finno-Ugric population in the Baltic by that time. Hackman's theory soon gained an established status, making the Baltics interesting from the Finnish point of view in a completely new way. However, the shared history of the Finns and the Estonians was now shorter than Aspelin had assumed. Hackman's interpretation of the Finnish migration to Finland prevailed until the 1980s (Salo 1984).

Still practically no Early Roman Iron Age fords and relatively few Late Roman Iron Age ones were known from Finland at Hackman's time. That meant that he had to make a great number of indirect conclusions. He emphasized that neither the Finns, Estonians nor Livonians could claim to be the original inhabitants of their countries. He assumed that there had been continuity of settlement through the Middle Iron Age in the Baltics. As a result, the Early Iron age population could be assumed to have been Finno-Ugric, although their material culture was Germanic. Immigrants from the Baltics to Finland would have become mixed with the Scandinavian population in their new territory. Otherwise Hackman made few comparisons between Finland and Estonia, but he presented some characterizations of the Early Iron Age material in Estonia, calling it baroque, bizarre, clumsy, exaggerated and primitive cottage industry. He actually left the Finnish-Estonian connection partly open to await new finds, especially in Estonia (Hackman 1905, 320 ff., 342 ff.).

For those reasons the final myth-building on the basis of Hackman's ideas did not take place until the 1920s.

Opposition to the Gothic theory

When Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania gained independence, developing the so-called national sciences was considered a special duty. All four countries began to create new nationally oriented academic education. Archaeology was one of the disciplines that was considered necessary in building the new states. Chairs in archaeology were established at the universities of Helsinki, Tartu, Riga and Kaunas. In Finland there had been several proposals to found one since the 1890s but it was only now that the plan gained enough support (Salminen 1993).

Finnish identity had been defined in the late 19th and early 20th century in Finland and the results were thought to be final (see e.g. Salminen 2008, 101 with references). Nor was there any urgent need to rewrite Finnish prehistory. In the Baltic countries, the Baltic-German image of the Goths as the culture-bearing people of Baltic prehistory was to be refuted. The Finnish archaeologist A. M. Tallgren (1885-1945) served as professor of archaeology at Tartu University in 1920-1923, and archaeological research was active in those years. Tallgren's work was continued by his pupils, especially Harri Moora (1900-1968) (Tvauri 2003, 52 f.; Lang 2006a, 83; 2006b, 23 f.).

Thus, there was archaeological demand for a general survey of the prehistory of Estonia both for scholarly and general audiences in the beginning of the 1920s. In addition, it was a question of prestige for the new state to publish its own prehistory. A. M. Tallgren published a two-part prehistory of Estonia, Zur Archaologie Eestis, in 1922-1925. He could base it on much more extensive material than his predecessors because of extensive surveys and excavations made all over Estonia during his professorship at Tartu (Tallgren 1924; Lang 2006b, 21 ff).

Tallgren found abundant cultural similarities in the Stone Age of both countries but did not regard them to be of any significance for the identity of present-day Finns or Estonians. The Early Iron Age culture of Estonia he characterized as Gothic. Following Alfred Hackman, Tallgren assumed, however, that the Early Iron Age population of Estonia was already Estonian, but in the overall image of culture he still followed the old Baltic German concept. Tallgren emphasized differences rather than similarities between Estonia and Finland, although he mentioned several cultural features in the Middle and Late Iron Age that were similar in both countries. The Estonian Middle Iron Age was limited in finds, and Tallgren regarded migration to Finland as a central reason for that. In spite of contacts, he claimed that the two areas were relatively independent of one another. Tallgren left many questions open and did not particularly emphasize Estonia's cultural originality or active role (Tallgren 1922; 1923a; 1923b, 341 ff.; 1925; Lang 2006a, 79 ff.).

Popular education in prehistory was provided by Harri Moora with his book Eestlaste kultuur muistsel iseseisvus-ajal (The culture of the Estonians in their ancient period of independence) in 1926. It was followed by Die Yorzeit Estlands in 1932 and the chapters on prehistory in Eesti ajalugu (History of Estonia) in 1935. Moora was also one of the authors of Latvijas archaiologija, together with Eduards Sturms (1895-1959), Marta Schmiedehelm (1896-1981) and Francis Balodis (1882-1947) (LA 1926; Moora 1932; Moora et al. 1935, unaltered 2nd ed. 1936, used here).

According to Moora, there appeared to have been migration from Estonia to Finland in the Mesolithic Stone Age. In general the relationship between the two areas was rather close. This was supported by some important finds like those from Kunda and especially Voisiku in Estonia and Suomusjarvi and Kirkkonummi in Finland. In Moora's opinion, the Estonian Stone Age culture gained its strength from its position as the mediator between Finland and the southern cultural centres, and to a lesser extent between East and West. Because the Typical Comb Ware was already assumed to belong to the Finno-Ugrians in both countries, Moora considered it possible that the roots of the 20th-century Estonians would extend to the Neolithic Stone Age. He was convinced that Estonia had never become completely unpopulated and even mentioned the possibility of ethnic continuity from the Mesolithic Stone Age to the Iron Age. His attitude towards the latter, however, was uncertain. Compared with the Finnish approach even this meant a growing difference (Moos 1932, 21 f; Moora et al. 1936, 23 ff., 59 ff.; Kruska 2006, 62 ff.).

Estonia became, according to Moora, a cultural centre of the whole Baltic Finnish area in the Early Iron Age. It also initiated the settlement of Finland. More than anything else Finland was an export area for Estonian products. Because of sparse settlement, Finnish society was not as organized as Estonian society. Estonia, on the other hand, was not as culturally developed as Scandinavia, but was dominant in its relationship with the Slavs, whose level of culture was primitive.

At the same time, Tallgren emphasized a mix of Baltic and Scandinavian influences in Finland (Tallgren 1923a; 1923b, 341 ff.; Moora 1926, 7 ff., 124 ff.; 1932, 47; Moora et al. 1936, 118 ff.).

These interpretations were already based on more comprehensive material than those presented a couple of decades earlier. Some important Roman Iron Age fords had been made in Finland since 1910, especially the cemeteries of Penttala in Nakkila 1910, Katajamaki in Uskela 1913, Saramaki and Karsamaki in Maaria 1921. Still new important Early Roman Iron Age finds were to come to light at the beginning of the 1930s, e. g. the cemetery at Kroggardsmalmen in Karis in 1932. ( porto/default.aspx.)

According to Moora, Finland became more independent with stronger economic contacts with Scandinavia in the Middle Iron Age. That also caused a declining period of culture with few finds in Estonia (Moora 1932, 52; Moora et al. 1936, 137 f). Because there were no signs of a new, Finnic immigration from any direction to Estonia in that period, the Baltic German claims of a Gothic population in the Early Iron Age were without any factual basis (Moora 1932, 54 f.; Moora et al. 1936, 85 f.).

In the Viking Age, Estonia again became active towards Finland, but despite that Finland was relatively independent in terms of culture and had direct contacts with its western and eastern neighbours. Migration from Estonia to Finland continued nevertheless. Moora regarded furs obtained from the Finnish forests to have been the most probable reason for this (Moora 1932, 73; Moora et a1. 1936, 171 f.).

Furthermore, according to Moora, the Late Iron Age Finland and Estonia were culturally similar in many respects. Nevertheless, agriculture was important only in the oldest centres of culture in south-western Finland. The importance of the hunting economy in the inland caused differences in culture and the way of life in comparison with Estonia. Moora assumed social organization to have been quite similar in both countries. Estonia was continuously culturally active towards

Finland, while there were no signs of Finnish activity in Estonia. Estonian migration to Finland continued until 1000. Because the Finnish language was practically a dialect of Estonian at the time, it favoured the settlement of new immigrants. Karelia was a culturally separate area with strong contacts with the east. Stylistically, Karelian culture reminded Moora of Livonian culture. Contacts between Estonia and Karelia were sparse (Moora 1926, 123 ff.).

As mentioned above a concrete aim for Estonian archaeology of the 1920s was to refute the Gothic theory. Were there other goals and did they produce myths of history? What was the role of the Finnish-Estonian relationship here? Archaeological material from Finland supported the view that Estonia was the active partner in its Early Iron Age contacts with Finland, but we notice that Moora emphasizes especially strongly the originality, independence and active nature of the Iron Age Estonian culture. If, additionally, it could be proven that the bearers of culture in the Early Iron Age Estonia were the ancestors of the 20th-century Estonians, the interpretation of an independent and active prehistoric society of theirs became a myth supporting the newly-gained independence of the Republic of Estonia and serving as a model for the 20th-century Estonians.

On the other hand, Moora stressed in his book, how no culture is only national and that instead most culture is international and human in general. Only contacts with other peoples can free a nation's own creative power, which he said to be true also for Estonians (Moora 1926, 144 f). Moora's thinking in the 1920s can be described as national but anti-nationalistic. (1) His teacher Tallgren sharply criticized the nationalist and other extremist movements of the 1920s and 1930s, and his attitude also influenced Moora. Nevertheless, the phraseology and accents of the time can be found in their works, too (Kivikoski 1960, 16 ff., 39 f., 65 f.; Salminen 1993, 27 ff.).

Finnish prehistory between the world wars

In Finland, A. M. Tallgren published his Suomen muinaisuus (The Antiquity of Finland) in 1931. The Baltics did not have any especially large role in Tallgren's presentation. Stone Age Comb Ware belonged to the Finno-Ugrians in both Estonia and Finland, but because the Finnish settlement of Finland would not have begun until the Early Iron Age, the Stone Age did not have any real significance for Finnish identity. Tallgren had considered Hackman's assumption of the Finnish migration to a practically empty Finland in the Early Iron Age to be proven in the 1920s but he did not actually state whether new finds or some other reason brought him to this conclusion. Germanic loanwords in the Finnish language indicated that the Finnish settlement of Finland could have come from a relatively small area in the Baltic from where emigration to Finland was caused by the need to be closer to the wilder regions for fur hunting. This also meant that although Gothic cultural hegemony dominated in Estonia, the settlement could not have been ethnically Germanic. In Finland this was in agreement with the assumed depopulation of the country except for some nomadic groups in the Pre-Roman Iron Age and it explained the origins of the Finnish and Sami populations of historically documented times (Tallgren 1931).

How much this research result was caused by conscious or unconscious willingness to explain Finns in Finland as representatives of a "higher" agricultural settlement and link the "less developed" hunter-gatherer and nomadic cultural phases with other groups of people such as the Sami and some unknown tribes, is a question that cannot be answered unambiguously but we can note at least one reason that makes it unlikely. It is the fact that Tallgren regarded the whole of Early Roman Iron Age Finland as a cultural periphery compared with the Baltics and Scandinavia and its culture to be weakly developed, regardless of whether or not the Stone Age cultures were attributed to the ancestors of the Finns. The material culture was rather monotonous, without any national features. Only the fact that it belonged to Finnic tribes, gave it significance (Tallgren 1931, 120 f.).

In a private letter to A. M. Tallgren, Harri Moora was critical of the assumed complete depopulation of Finland in the Pre-Roman Period. South-western Finland was too favourable for settlement to be completely deserted. Also this opinion shows how Moora questioned the earlier migrationist explanations, but for some reason, when writing about Finland in his publications on Estonian prehistory, he still did not question the Finnish interpretations (NLF Coll. 230 Tallgren: Harri Moora to A. M. Tallgren, March 21, 1932, Oct. 18, 1935; Moora 1932, 41 ff.; Moora et al. 1936, 104 f, 114; Salminen 2007a, 54).

In the Late Iron Age, Estonia was culturally ahead of Finland, though not as much as Sweden. It had its mightiest period from around 900 until 1200, when also an organized society began to take shape. According to Tallgren, there were also elements of an emerging unified kingdom in Estonia. In Finland tribal rule at the most could have evolved. For Tallgren, both Finland and Estonia represented the contemporary ideal of the peasant society, but in different stages of development. Finland was the one with a less developed culture and society, in many respects dependent on the Baltic region and other neighbours (Tallgren 1931, 157, 192, 245 ff.).

Without more thorough research on the topic, it cannot be said how representative Tallgren's views of prehistoric Finnish society actually were in his time. One must note, though, that the archaeological community was growing and there were also a growing number of different views of same issues and within the same basic approach (see Fewster 2008, 104 f.).

By 1930 Estonia had become a self-evident part of the narrative of "Finnish migration", the myth of origins of the Finns. Until the 1970s, this was never seriously questioned. The most important open questions in that area concentrated e. g. on the relationship between the Baltic and Scandinavian cultural influences in Finland (Kivikoski 1939, esp. pp. 233 ff.; Salo 1968, esp. pp. 207 f., 235 f.).

Some developments in the 1930s and later

The 1930s were a period of rising political nationalism and authoritarian regimes throughout Europe. In Estonia, national-minded circles provided economic support for archaeological fieldwork on the hillforts, and the image of a well-organized and relatively egalitarian peasant society of the past was established especially in popular literature (Moos 1939, 7 f.; Lang 2006b, 26 ff.). Professional archaeologists were usually more cautious in their views, largely because of their liberal backgrounds (NLF Coll. 230 Tallgren: former members of EUS "Veljesto" to Tallgren, Feb. 26, 1933, Feb. 24, 1940; Moora 1933/2002; 1940/2002; Laid 1946/1997a; 1946/1997b; Erelt 1997, 468; Marksoo 1999, 125; Trummal 2000, 125 f; Lang 2002, 519 ff; Zetterberg 2007, 548 ff.). Despite his liberal world view, Harri Moora clearly comes closer in Eesti ajalugu to the demands for an increasingly nationalistic view of history, especially emphasizing the well-organized Late Iron Age Estonian society and the strong will of the ancient Estonians to preserve their independence (Moora 1932, 41; 1933/2002; Moora et al. 1936, 104 ff.).

Especially Moora but also Tallgren used both "Estonia" and "Finland" like more or less clearly defined concepts, at least as cultural areas or areas inhabited by certain populations. Especially in the case of Moora writing in Eesti ajalugu I it can be supposed also that he has assumed at least some kind of continuity of statehood (Tallgren 1931 passim; Moora et al. 1936 passim).

Confirming what Tallgren had written about the Finnish migration, Ella Kivikoski (1901-1990) stated in 1939 that no continuity of settlement in Finland through the Pre-Roman Iron Age could be proven but instead there was a migratory movement from Estonia to Finland in the Early Roman Iron Age. Until the Viking Age, contacts remained lively. Only then was "the old motherland pushed aside" (Kivikoski 1939, 234 ff.). Hackman's, Tallgren's and Kivikoski's interpretations of the colonization of Finland from Estonia in the Early Roman Iron Age prevailed until the 1970s (Kivikoski 1961, see esp. pp. 100-106, 109-114, 118-119, 128, 138, 152, 208-209; in English, 1967). In Estonia, Artur Vassar located the departure area of the first migrants to Finland to have been in Saaremaa (Osilia). The second wave would have originated from Virumaa. Kivikoski agreed with him as far as the second wave was concerned but considered the assumed earlier one merely hypothetical (Vassar 1938; Kivikoski 1939, 234 f.).

There were signs, however, of theoretical changes also in Finnish archaeology in the 1930s, although they did not influence the basic image of the origins of the Finns. A. M. Tallgren came out with the idea that each people comes into being from different elements precisely where its existence becomes known. No people as such wanders from anywhere. Before that he had expressed different opinions concerning ethnic questions in archaeology. Other archaeologists did not analyse this relationship (Tallgren 1939; Salminen 2003, 156 f.; 2006).

Here it is also worth noting that the Latvian image of prehistory of the 1930s was still directed against the old Goth theory but also against Latvia's own Finno-Ugrians who were depicted as incarnations of primitiveness. They had received a higher civilization from the Baltic tribes that came along with the Battle-Axe Culture (LV 1938, 8, 36 ff.; Vasks 1998, 23 ff.).

The Second World War changed the framework in which Finns and Estonians examined prehistory. Many ideas, which were proposed in the 1930s could not be developed further. In the Baltic countries Marxism-Leninism dictated the development scheme of societies, into which finds were to be fitted. The core was the internal development of each culture, determined by relations of production. Migrations could not have any essential significance and instead settlement continuity was to be assumed (ENSVA 1955, 32, 50, 73; Moora 1956, 49 ff., 75 ff.; Ligi 1994; Vasks 1998, 27 ff.; Lang 2006b, 29 f; Salminen 2007a, 56 ff.). As pointed out above, there were some developments towards abandoning the old migrationist explanation pattern in Estonian archaeology already in the 1930s, and in this sense the change was actually small. In another sense it was bigger: the pre-war image of Estonian cultural activity abroad was now to be replaced by a completely opposite one.

In the problems addressed by Finnish archaeology, the relationship with Estonia remained unchanged until the 1970s. The basic factor of explanation was migration. All these images were highly significant presentations of prehistory and thus served as myths of identity. Consequently, the distance between the Finnish and Estonian image of prehistory began to grow rapidly. Because creating and maintaining contacts with the neighbouring country was impossible until the 1960s, also practical possibilities to become acquainted with the material from there had deteriorated. The political situation in Finland prevented any deological Finno-Ugrian work and it was necessary also in the scholarly field not to evoke political suspicions (Salminen 2008, 158, 170 ff., see also pp. 107 ff.).

To summarize: Finnish and Estonian myths and identity in prehistory

Some myths are easily recognizable in the image of the prehistoric Finnish-Estonian relationship. For the Baltic Germans, German cultural superiority was one such myth. Finland was not needed in this myth. J. R. Aspelin formulated the first Finnish presentation of Baltic prehistory with a special meaning. For him, the Estonians were a parallel phenomenon to the Finns. To evoke sympathy in Finland they were described as a brave but unlucky brother.

Alfred Hackman who had a Swedish-speaking background and had gone to school in Germany was influenced by the Baltic German way of thinking more strongly than Aspelin had been. For him the Estonians were some kind of Proto Finns, representatives of an earlier stage of culture. Hackman's attitude towards Estonians, however, was not in itself negative.

It is complicated to summarize A. M. Tallgren's image of the Estonian-Finnish relationship as a myth, although it clearly had a character of a signified presentation. Wandering from Asia to the Baltic Sea and dividing in two were the basic elements of Aspelin's myth, whereas Tallgren could not provide anything as extensive and unambiguous IN ITS STEAD. He had replaced, together with the linguist E. N. Setala (1861935), the Siberian original home with one in the Volga Region, but the whole image of prehistory had a much greater number of open questions for him than had been the case for Aspelin. On the Baltic Sea, Early Iron Age Finland and Estonia can be characterized as parts of each other in Tallgren's account. Estonia represented a stage in the migration of the ancestors of the Finns to Finland, which was developed into a clear-cut myth.

If Estonia was one phase of the Finnish migration myth, the Estonian one differed from it with respect to hierarchy. It was in the Estonian interest to explain just what Estonia's role was in the course of development, rather than share origins as such. Therefore, the Estonian myth of the Finnish-Estonian relationship was also separated from the myth of the origins of the Estonian people. In Harri Moora's pre-war view the independent and active Estonians created present-day Finland and the Finns. In Finland, A. M. Tallgren adopted the same view but with slightly different emphasis. Even more clearly, Ella Kivikoski introduced this idea in Finland when she called Estonia "the motherland of Finland" in 1961.

Archaeological interpretations and ideological Finno-Ugrianism developed in parallel. Their background was in the kinship of the Finnish and Estonian languages; an ideological dimension would not even have been possible without it. A considerably more difficult question is whether the archaeological results would have been different without the Finno-Ugrian ideology. Since the end of the 19th century there were also fords supporting them. Although there are formulations that bear witness to ideological demands, we must leave the question open at a general level. In the post-war decades, when there were practically no possibilities for cooperation between Finnish and Estonian archaeologists, the shared myth was replaced by one myth for Finland and another for Estonia.


Kuidas on kasutatud Soome ja Eesti vahelist esiajaloolist suhet Soome voi Eesti identiteedi ehitamiseks neis rukides? Millisena on naaber esitatud esiajaloomuutides? Selles artiklis on antud ulevaade arengu peajoontest 1880.-1940. aastateni peamiselt esiajaloo uldteoste pohjal. Artikli metodoloogilise raamistiku moodustavad arheoloogia, ideeajalugu ja kultuurisemioodka. Arheoloogilisi tolgendusi on vaadeldud ajaloo taustal, puudes leida rahvuslike esiajaloo muutide koostisosi. Muuti on sun moistetud Roland Barthesi defmitsiooni jargi: muut tekib, kui objekt vuakse ule konkreetsest reaalsusest teisesse ruumi, kus see on moeldud kasutamiseks ja mis varustatakse eriliste tahendustega teatud vastuvotjate jaoks.

Arheoloogiat kasutad 19. sajandi teise poole Soomms poludlise voitluse vahendina nu soome keele oiguste eest kui nende vastu. Fennomaanne esiajaloouurimine tahds naidata, et soomlastel on ajalugu ja kultuur, ning maaratleda, mis on soomlus.

Esimese Baltikumi esiajaloopildi loi Snomes J. R. Aspelin 1870.-1880. aastatel. Constantin Grewingki jargi oletas ta Baltikumi vararauaaegse asustuse gootiparaseks. Samuti olevat Edela-Soome asustus olnud germaani paritolu. Laanemeresoome immigrantide saabumise Soome dateeris Aspelin 5. 7. sajandiga. Snome laht oleks idast saabunud tulnukad jaganud algselt kahte ruhma: eestlased ja parissoomlased lounasse ning Snome teised hoimud pohja.

Hilisrauaaegseid eestlasi kujutas Aspelin kui kardetud meresoitjaid, kes algul olid ludus slaavlastega, et luua Vana-Vene riiki, poordusid sus oma endise liitlase vastu, kuid sodadest ktunatuna alistati lopuks sakslaste ja taanlaste poolt.

Aspelin veendus oma rahvuslikus ja soome-ugri kohustuses 1869. aasta Tartureisi ajal. Arheoloogilise tahenduse said Aspelini Eesti-kontaktid 1880. aastal, mil ta kaevas muistiseid koos Abja kooliopetaja Jaan Jungiga. Aastatel 1872-1874 kogus ta materjali Venemaal, selgitamaks soomlaste esivanemate surdumist oma oletatud algkodust Altai maestikus Laanemere aarde.

Et seletada soomlaste algupara ja minevikku, pidi Aspelin moned oma leitud elemendid varustama markusega "Soome sugu". Tanapaevasest vaatenurgast on tegemist konstrueeritud reaalsuse ja muudiga, kuigi 19. sajandi teadlased ise uskusid, et nad otsisid rangelt teaduslike pohimotete jargi toeliselt olemas olnud minevikku. Jargmiste aastakumnete jooksul pohinesid nende saavutatud tulemustel nu uus teaduslik uurimistoo kui ka populaarteaduslikud esiajalookasitlused. Uheks kanaliks Soome arheoloogide tolgenduste tutvustamiseks valismaal olid maailmanaitused.

Kuigi Baltikum esindas vaid vaikest osa Aspelini oletatud soomlaste minevikus ja autoportrees, oli kokkukuuluvustunde loomine ning tugevdamine ja sumpaatia aratamine eestlaste, vapra, aga onnetu venna vastu ideoloogilistel pohjustel vajalik. Selleks vajati posituvset pilti naabri esiajaloost. Uhine algupara oli tahtsaks ajendiks nu teaduslikule kui ka ideoloogilisele soome-ugri toole eriti alates 1880. aastatest.

Baltisaksa teadlased otsisid peamiselt germaanlaste jalgi Baltikumis. Niisuguses kontekstis ei saanud Soomml olla mingit mainimisvaarset rolli.

J. R. Aspelin eitas Constantin Grewingki oletatud Soome-ugri rahvastikku Baltikumis enne keskmist rauaaega. See ei oleks Altai algkodu-teooriasse sobinud ja ilmselt tahtis ta ka oponeerida Grewingki vaidet primituvsetest soomeugrilastest.

Alfred Hackman oletas 1905. aastal, et soomlaste esivanemad olevat saabunud Soome vanemal rooma rauaajal Eestist. Selleks pidi seal olema Soome-ugri asustus. Hackmani teooria jai pusima kuni 1980. aastate alguseni, mistottu muutus ka Baltikum Soome vaatepunktist taiesti uuel vusil huvitavaks. Soommt ja Eestit vordles Hackman iseenesest vahe. Eestlased olid talle omamoodi "eelsoomlased", varasema kultuurifaasi esindajad.

Iseseisvunud Soomes, Eestis, Latis ja Leedus peeti nn rahvusteaduste ja rahvusliku orientatsiooniga akadeemilise hariduse arendamist eriliseks kohustuseks. Arheoloogia oppetoolid asutati koigis neis rukides.

Soomes ei nahtud esiajaloo umberhindamiseks suurt vajadust. Baltikumis peeti baltisaksa gooti teooria kummutamist esmaseks ulesandeks. Tartu Ulikooli arheoloogiaprofessorina tootas aastatel 1920-1923 soomlane A. M. Tallgren, kelle lahkumise jarel jatkasid uurimistood tema opilased, eelkoige Harri Moora.

Tallgren avaldas 1922. ja 1925. aastal kahekoitelise teose "Zur Archaologie Eestis". Laialdaste valitoode tottu vois ta rajada oma tolgendused marksa suuremale materjalile kui varasemad Baltikumi esiajaloo uurijad.

Tallgren rohutas rohkem erinevusi kui sarnasusi rauaaegse Soome ja Eesti vahel, kuigi ta mainis mitmeid uhendavaid kultuurijooni. Moned kusimused jattis ta lahtiseks, ja selles mottes voibki oelda, et tervikpilt ei vastanud igati muudiloomise vajadustele.

Populaarkasitluse kirjutas Harri Moom 1926. aastal. Juba Eesti kiviaegne kultuur sai tema arvates jou oma positsioonist, oma vahendajarollist lounapoolsete kultuurikeskuste ja Soome vahel. Varajasel rauaajal muutus Eesti kogu laanemeresoome ala kultuurikeskuseks ja domineeris ka oma suhtes slaavlastega, kelle kultuuritase oli primitiivne. Samaaegselt rohutas Tallgren balti ja skandinaavia mojude segu Soomes.

Soomes 20. sajandi esimestel kuxnnenditel tehtud tahtsad rooma rauaaja leiud andsid endisest kindlama pohja ka uldistavatele markustele esiajaloolise Eestisuhte kohta.

Ka vukingiajal jatkus valjaranne Eestist Soome. Selle peamiseks ajendiks arvas Moora nii sel ajal kui ka varem Soomest saadavaid karusnahku. Soome keel oli tol ajal Moom jargi veel praktiliselt eesti keele morre, mis lihtsustas uute migrantide asumist Soome.

Eesti huvides oli seletada, milline oli olnud Eesti roll Laanemere piirkonna arengus. Moora antud pildi jargi oli iseseisev ja aktuvne esiajalooline Eesti loonud tanapaeva Soome. Sellega tahtis ta seada esiaja eeskujuks oma kaasaja eestlastele. Muudiks formuleeritud esiajaloopildile leiti tuge ka Soome arheoloogilisest materjalist.

Teisalt rohutas Moom 1926. aastal, kuidas ukski kultuur ei ole ainult rahvuslik, vaid peamiselt uldinimlik. Tema talle aja motteviisi voib iseloomustada kui rahvuslikku, aga antinatsionalistlikku. Selles oli talle suurt moju avaldanud tema opetaja Tallgren.

Soomes pidas Tallgren 1931. aastal toestatuks Hackmani oletust migratsioonist Eestist praktiliselt tuhja Soome. Pohjuseks vois olla vajadus seletada kaht arengukaiku Soomes: oletatud elaniketa jaamine eelrooma rauaajal ja Soome ning Saami rahvastiku olemasolu ajaloolisel ajal. Kas tulemust seletab ka teadlik voi ebateadlik tahe naha soomlastes "arenenuma" pollumajanduskultuuri kandjate jarel-tulijaid ja liita "vahem arenenud" kuttide-korilaste ning nomaadide kultuur teiste rahvaruhmade nagu saamidega, on voimatu uhemotteliselt vastata.

Hilisrauaaegses Eestis nagi Tallgren juba marke arenevast uhinenud riigist ja rohutas eestlaste tahet kaitsta oma maad. Nu Eesti kui Soome esindasid Tallggeni jaoks tol ajal ideaalset talupojakultuuri, kuid eri arengufaasides.

Kuni 1930. aastateni oli Eestis soomlaste algupara muudi narratiivi iseenesestmoistetavaks osaks "soomlaste ranne Soome". Koige tahtsamaks lahtiseks kusimuseks jai balti ja skandinaavia mojude suhe Soome kultuuris.

Tallggeni Eesti-pilti on raske luhidalt kokku votta. Koos keeleteadlase E. N. Setalaga kummutas ta M. A. Castreni ja J. R. Aspelini loodud Altai algkodumuudi ning asendas selle uuega--Volga algkodust--, aga jattis mitmed kusimused lahtiseks. Laanemere aares nagi Tallgren Soommt ja Eestit kui teineteise osi.

Kinnitades seda, mida Tallgren oli soomlaste sisserandest kirjutanud, todes Ella Kivikoski 1939. aastal ja uldkasitluses 1961. aastal, et asustuse jatkuvust labi eelrooma rauaaja ei saa toestada. Kuni vukingiajani olid Soome kontaktid Eestiga tihedad ja alles sus "lukati endive emamaa korvale".

Tugevneva natsionalismi perioodil, 1930. aastatel toetasid rahvuslikult meelestatud ringkonnad arheoloogilisi valitoid ka Eesti linnamagedel, ja hasti organiseerunud talupojauhiskond moodustus kindlaks osaks eriti populaarkirjanduslikus esiajaloopildis.

Arheoloogilised tolgendused ja ideoloogiline hoimutoo arenesid korvuti. Ilma keelesuguluseta Soome ja Eesti vahel poleks hoimutoo taoline koostoovorm kunagi moeldav olnud. Raskem kusimus on, kas arheoloogilised tolgendused oleksid ilma hoimuideoloogilise taustata teistsugused olnud. Leiumaterjal suski toetas neid. Uldisel tasemel peame kusimuse lahtiseks jatma, aga tuleb nentida, et omaaegsete uurijate teatud valjautlemised kannavad ideoloogilist pitserit.

Teine maailmasoda muutis raamistikku, milles soomlased ja eestlased teineteise esiajalugu vaatlesid. Balti rukides noudis marksism-leninism uhiskonna arengu seletamist sisemisest, toodangusuhetest tousnud muutusest. Seetottu tuli oletada ka asustuslikku jatkuvust migratsioonide asemel. Sojaeelsel ajal loodud pilt kultuursest, valjaspool oma pure aktuvsest Eestist tuli asendada vastupidisega. Molemad seletused olid suurel maaral tahendustega laetud ja moeldud identiteedimuutide pustitamiseks.

Soome arheoloogilises problemaatikas sailis Eesti-suhe pohimotteliselt muutumatul kujul kuni 1970. aastateni. See tahendas vahemaa kasvamist Soome ja Eesti esiajaloopildi vahel. Ideoloogiline hoimutoo tuli polutiliste olude sunnil taiesti korvale jatta ja ka teaduslikul tasemel oli vaja teatud ettevaatlikkust. Parast Teist maailmasoda asendus soomlaste ja eestlaste uhine paritolumuut omaette muudiga kummalgi maal.

doi: 10.3176/arch.2009.1.01


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(1) The Swedish archaeologist Hakan Peterson has proposed some factors that would distinguish nationalist archaeology from national archaeology. In his opinion, nationalist archaeology (or other disciplines) is expansive, directed against other peoples or compares other peoples negatively with the author's own people (Peterson 2005, 22 ff.).--In principle, Peterson's division is simple but applying it leads to some problems of demarcation. In any case it cannot be used in the 19th-century context before the rise of political nationalism.

Timo Salminen, Lopentie 10 C 45, 11100 Ruhimaki, Finland;
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