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Maritime landscapes: introduction/Merenduslikud maastikud: sissejuhatus.

This is a thematic issue of the Estonian Journal of Archaeology, dedicated to the settlement archaeology of coastal areas, one-time harbour sites and early urban centres, and to the activities of prehistoric and medieval people on the sea, coasts and riverbanks. Although the main focus will be on the Estonian coast and islands, the coast of present-day Poland on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea has also been taken into consideration. This is the first collection of articles in the framework of the project "Coastal Settlements on Prehistoric and Medieval Saaremaa" (Grant No 5432 of the Estonian Science Foundation), and the settlement archaeology research group of the target-financed project Land, Sea and People: Estonia on its way from the Iron Age to the Medieval period. North-Estonia, West-Estonia and Estonian islands 600-1600 AD in the Institute of History in Tallinn.

It is difficult to overestimate the role of maritime activities in the everyday life of people inhabiting coastal areas. In prehistoric times, the activities comprised fishing and seal-hunting, barter and trade, as well as piracy. Nevertheless, agriculture remained the main source of subsistence, and the presence of arable land in the vicinity was vital. In archaeological terms, such lands are marked by dwelling sites, prehistoric graves and cult places, as well as field remains, hill-forts and early stone churches. Maritime activities are primarily indicated by harbour sites and shipwrecks. All these remains mark human impact on the landscape--the cultural landscape. When agrarian activities forming the landscape are complemented with maritime ones, the result can be defined as a maritime cultural landscape. The articles in this issue consider different types of the latter.

In Pomerania, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea inhabited by West-Slavic people, a state-like society was formed earlier than in the countries further North. One of the earliest signs of the forthcoming social processes was the appearance of trading ports, emporia, at the end of the 8th century. The latter are described in an article by Polish archaeologist Mateusz Bogucki. His attention is concentrated on the reasons why the trading ports emerged, on the background to their appearance, on the essential role that international trade and social circumstances played in their development. A somewhat surprising circumstance for Estonian archaeologists that appears in Bogucki's research is the direct connection he makes between the emergence of trading ports and ethnic aspects, more particularly, the spread of the western Slavic population to the shores of the Baltic Sea. In any case, the main criteria for choosing a place for a trading port seem to be universal; on the northern coast of Poland, similarly to other areas, naturally well-protected places on the estuary of a river or on a small bay, or at the crossroads of trade routes, were selected for this purpose. Several ports of trade that had started to function in the Viking Age developed into towns in later periods, and still exist today.

Whether early urban centres also existed in pre-conquest Estonia, is a matter for debate. It is primarily the development of our larger towns--Tallinn and Tartu--that have been discussed in this respect. A Viking Age or even earlier predecessor of present-day Tallinn was probably the Iru hill-fort with several surrounding settlements. The location of the Iru site complex in a bend of the Pirita River, at the distance of 4 km from the estuary, was clearly a more suitable location for a Viking Age harbour and market place than the place 9 km westwards where the later medieval town was founded and still stands.

The move of harbour sites and trading ports from their former locations to places closer to the coast, where later medieval towns often developed, has been noted in several neighbouring countries. In Bogucki's article, this pattern of development is expressively illustrated by the abandoning of Truso at the end of the 10th century, while international trade concentrated in Gdansk instead. Another subject is the connection between international trade and large hill-forts that sometimes comprised hundreds of dwellings. In Pomerania, the hill-forts of Bardy and Kolobrzeg-Budzistowo, in Latvia for instance Daugmale, in Estonia the large 12th century hill-forts Varbola, Poide and Pada can be cited as the best examples.

Early urban centres, though, similar to those that existed on the southern or western coast of the Baltic Sea, have not been found nor excavated in Estonia so far, and the research here is, accordingly, concentrated on smaller harbour sites, which were only of local or regional importance. Maritime landscapes on prehistoric and medieval Saaremaa are the subject of Marika Magi's article. The bulk of her article concentrates on methods for detecting earlier harbour sites and on the special connection between harbours and the rest of a cultural landscape. Proceeding from the methods developed with the help of foreign colleagues and building upon local experiences, the first district level prehistoric harbour sites on Saaremaa have now been recorded, and trial excavations have been carried out on some of them. This work has confirmed that Estonian harbour sites often changed their location at the end of the 10th century and also in the 11th century; the Viking Age harbour of Tornimae, at least, had been abandoned around this time. The most overt reason for this process may be seen in the land mass upheaval, which has strongly influenced the development of northern Baltic coastal areas--old harbours simply became too shallow for ships. Still, parallel processes in Poland and Scandinavia point to probably more complicated, and in any case more comprehensive reasons. In addition to the increased speed of land mass elevation, the 10th-11th centuries were also the time of the appearance of large cargo-carrying ships, as well as the period of thorough changes in social systems and international trade.

Analysing the location of harbour sites on Saaremaa, it is obvious that they can always be found in the vicinity of fertile arable lands. What is more, the symbiosis between arable lands and coastal sea with topographic features suitable for safe landing can be pointed out as essential preconditions for the development of centres. The seaman's perspective on the coastal landscape, disembarking and finding suitable places, are examined in the article by Kristin Ilves. She maintains that perspectives from land and from sea are equally important for interpreting maritime cultural landscape; the perspective from the side of water requires good knowledge of local waters and seafaring skills; the practical use of a sea vessel could improve the understanding even more. Ilves also emphasizes another, currently under-represented aspect in Estonian archaeological research--the dependence of northern cultural landscapes on seasonal changes. In wintertime, when the coastal sea freezes, water expanse disappears from the minds of coastal inhabitants for months, it being impossible to use water vessels. Inland, the winter landscape also had in many aspects the same effect; the role that winter routes over frozen bodies of water played in local trade even as late as the beginning of the 20th century is well known.

Ilves suggests her own terminology for distinguishing landing sites of different types, which is directly connected to ship-building technology. In her opinion, landing sites that can be considered harbours appeared on the coasts of the Baltic Sea only in the 9th-10th centuries, the so-called proto-harbours starting with the 7th century. The term harbour used by Ilves is, accordingly, parallel to Bogucki's trading ports or emporia. Magi has used the term harbour/harbour site in a much broader sense, considering the quite limited opportunities to detect harbours or landing places archaeologically.

In her article on riverside settlement in North Estonia, Gurly Vedru concentrates on the relationship between man and river. In a broader sense, the article also deals with coastal areas, since the districts under discussion often remain at the distance of only a few kilometres from the North Estonian coast. Settlement, its continuity and/or discontinuity is considered in a longer perspective, from the Mesolithic to medieval periods. Much attention is paid to the settlement shift caused by the invention of agriculture.

Vedru emphasizes the continuity of cultural landscapes and the mental connection a community has with places used by its predecessors. Riverbanks, especially the ones near naturally attractive objects like waterfalls, often remained in use after the onset of the farming economy, even if there were no arable lands in the vicinity. In such cases, new living quarters were erected closer to cultivated fields and the old dwelling sites were used for erecting stone graves or as cult places. Even if the former settlements were completely abandoned, people sometimes moved back to live there centuries later.

Harbour sites, the connecting points between the land and bodies of water, have their own role to play in the continuity of cultural landscapes, as well as in the impact of landscape objects on local identity. On Saaremaa, like in Scandinavia, villages were often founded in the location of late prehistoric harbour sites, even in cases when the coast, as a result of land mass upheaval, was several kilometres away. Sometimes, there was a gap of several centuries between these settlements. Similar development can be suggested on several riverbanks, where river harbours might have existed at one time. The memory of long-ago abandoned prehistoric harbour sites in the local tradition as manor sites or hill-forts also refers to continuity, in this case expressed through the hierarchic interpretation of the landscape. The former function of the site is forgotten while the knowledge of the importance of it on the cultural landscape has remained.

Estonian history is directly connected to the geographical location of the country on the Baltic Sea, at the crossroads of international trade routes. Throughout the ages, the everyday life of both the islanders and the inhabitants of coastal districts has been dependent on the sea and the activities connected with it--even when people actually lived several miles away from the coast. The comparatively modest interest in Estonian archaeology as far as the maritime aspect is concerned has probably been caused solely by the political situation in the 20th century. The above-mentioned projects have been called upon to fill this gap in our knowledge, and the first results of this research are presented in this publication.

Teie ees on Eesti Arheoloogiaajakirja temaatiline erinumber, mis seekord on puhendatud rannaaarsete alade asustusarheoloogiale, kunagistele sadamakohtadele ja varalinnalistele keskustele, muistsete inimeste toodele-tegemistele merel, rannas ja joekallastel. Ootusparaselt on pohitahelepanu pooratud Eesti rannikule ja saartele, kuid vaatluse alla on voetud ka tanapaeva Poola rannikuala Laanemere lounakaldal. Tegemist on maastikuarheoloogia-alase uurimisgrupi esimese artiklikogumikuga projekti "Saaremaa rannaasustus muinas- ja keskajal" (Eesti Teadusfondi grant nr 5432) ja Ajaloo Instituudi sihtfinantseeritava teema "Maa, meri ja rahvas: Eesti teel muinasajast keskaega. Pohja-Eesti, Laane-Eesti ja saarte areng 600-1600 pKr" raames.

Rannaaladel elavate inimeste igapaevaelus on merendusliku tegevuse rolli raske ulehinnata. Muinasajal oli see eeskatt kala- ja hulgepuuk, kohalik ja rahvusvaheline kaubandus, aga ka roovretklus. Pohitoidus saadi siiski pollumajandusest, seeparast paiknesid lahikonnas ka sobivad pollumaad. Viimaseid tahistavad arheoloogi jaoks asulakohad, muistsed kalmed ja kultuspaigad, kunagiste poldude jaanused, linnamaed ja varased kivikirikud. Merendusliku tegevuse malestusmarkideks on peamiselt muistsed sadamakohad ja laevavrakid. Nii uhed kui teised annavad tunnistust inimese mojust maastikule, kultuurmaastikust. Juhul kui tegemist on agraarse ja merendusliku tegevuse koosmojuga, voib raakida merenduslikust kultuurmaastikust. Kaesolevas erinumbris publitseeritud artiklid keskenduvadki viimasele.

Pomeraanias, laaneslaavlastega asustatud Laanemere lounarannikul, kujunes riiklik korraldus valja varem kui siinmail. Uheks varaseimaks margiks toimuvatest uhiskondlikest protsessidest oli kaubasadamate--emporium'ide--teke 8. sajandi lopul. Viimaseid kirjeldab oma artiklis Poola arheoloog Mateusz Bogucki. Ta poorab tahelepanu kaubasadamate tekkimise pohjustele, nende arengu tagamaadele, rahvusvahelise kaubanduse ja uhiskondlike olude maaravale rollile nende kujunemisloos. Eesti arheoloogia jaoks mojub monevorra ullatuslikult kaubasadamate tekkimise otsene seostamine etniliste oludega, laaneslaavi asustuse levimisega Laanemere rannikualadele. Kaubasadamate asukoha valiku kriteeriumid naivad siiski olevat universaalsed: ka Poola pohjarannikul valiti selleks eeskatt looduslikult hasti kaitstud koht joesuudmes voi vaikese merelahe aares kaubateede ristumiskohas. Mitmest viikingiajal alguse saanud sadamakohast kujunesid hiljem linnad, mis eksisteerivad tanapaevalgi.

On vaieldud varalinnaliste keskuste olemasolu ule vallutuseelses Eestis, eriti puudutab see siinsete suuremate linnade Tallinna ja Tartu arengulugu. Tallinna viikingiaegseks eellaseks on kull pigem Iru linnus koos korval asuvate asulakohtadega. Kompleksi asukoht Pirita joe kaarus, 4 km kaugusel suudmealast, oli viikingiaegseks kaubasadamaks vaieldamatult sobivam kui keskaegne linn 9 km laane pool. Kaubasadamate nihkumist varasemalt asukohalt n-o merele lahemale, kuhu seejarel tekkis ka keskaegne linn, on taheldatud ka naabermaades. Bogucki artiklis illustreerib sellist arenguskeemi koige ilmekamalt Truso mahajatmine 10. sajandi lopul ning rahvusvahelise kaubanduse kontsentreerumine Gdanskisse. Omaette teema on suurte, vahel sadu eluhooneid mahutanud linnuste seos rahvusvahelise kaubandusega. Pomeraanias on sellisteks naideteks Bardy ja Kolobrzeg-Budzistowo linnus, Latis Daugmale, Eestis Varbola, Poide voi Pada.

Laanemere louna- ja laanekalda varalinnalistele keskustele sarnanevaid kohti Eestis siiski kaevatud ei ole ning seeparast keskendub siinne uurimistoo vaiksematele, uksnes piirkondliku tahtsusega sadamakohtadele. Marika Magi artiklis on voetud vaatluse alla merenduslik maastik muinas- ja varakeskaegsel Saaremaal. Siin on pohitahelepanu pooratud voimalike sadamakohtade valjaselgitamise meetoditele, nende seosele ulejaanud kultuurmaastikuga. Viimasest lahtuvalt on esimesed piirkondliku tahtsusega sadamakohad praeguseks juba leitud ning mones on teostatud ka proovikaevamisi. Need on kinnitanud, et siingi muutsid sadamakohad 10. sajandi lopul voi 1000. aasta paiku asukohta. Vahemalt Tornimae viikingiaegne sadamakoht on just sel ajal maha jaetud. Laanemere pohjaosa rannikualade kujunemist tugevasti mojutanud maatous pakub siinkohal koige kaegakatsutavama pohjenduse: vana sadam jai laevadele lihtsalt liialt madalaks. Ometi osutavad Poola ja ka Skandinaavia maade paralleelid ilmselt sugavamatele, igal juhul hoopis laiema levikuga pohjustele. Lisaks maatousule tulid 10. sajandil kasutusele suurema suvisega laevad ning uhiskondlikus korralduses ja rahvusvahelises kaubanduses toimusid pohjalikud muutused.

Saaremaa sadamakohtade paiknemises on ilmne, et need asusid viljakamate pollumaade laheduses. Veelgi enam, keskuste kujunemises on olnud vajalikuks eeltingimuseks pollumaade ja sadamakohaks sobiva rannalahedase topograafiaga mere sumbioos. Vaadet rannamaastikule, randumisele ja selleks sobivatele kohtadele meremehe vaatevinklist valgustab Kristin Ilvese artikkel. Tema arvates on merendusliku kultuurmaastiku moistmiseks vajalik selle vaatlemine nii maa kui mere poolt, mis omakorda on voimalik uksnes kohalike vete ja meresoiduoskuste hea tundmise ning soovitatavalt veesoiduki olemasolu korral. Uhe Eesti arheoloogias seni vahe uuritud aspektina rohutab Ilves pohjamaise kultuurmaastiku soltuvust aastaaegadest--talvel, rannikumere jaatudes, kaob meri rannaelanike elust mitmeks kuuks ning veesoidukite kasutamine muutub voimatuks. Sarnaselt muutub maastik ka sisemaal, taliteede osakaal veel 20. sajandi alguse kohalikus kaubanduses on ajaloolastele hasti teada.

Ilves pakub valja omapoolse terminoloogia eri tuupi randumispaikade eristamiseks, seostades neid otseselt laevaehitusega. Sadamatest Laanemere ruumis voib tema arvates raakida alates 9.-10. sajandist, nn protosadamatest alates 7. sajandist. Termin sadam on tal seega vordsustatud Bogucki poolt kasitletud kaubasadamate ehk emporium'idega. Lahtudes voimalusest sadama-, resp randumiskohti arheoloogiliselt maastikul eristada, on Magi poolt kasutatud moistet sadam/sadamakoht hoopis laiemas tahenduses.

Inimese ja veekogu, seekord kull joe suhetele keskendub Gurly Vedru Pohja-Eesti jogede aarset asustust kasitlev artikkel. Laiemas tahenduses on siingi tegemist rannaaladega, merest vahel vaid mone kilomeetri kaugusele jaavate piirkondadega. Asustust, selle jarjepidevust ja/voi katkemist on vaadeldud pikas perspektiivis: alates mesoliitikumist kuni keskajani. Suur osa autori tahelepanust keskendubki polluharimise kasutuselevotuga seotud asustusnihkele.

Vedru artiklis rohutatakse kultuurmaastiku jarjepidevust, vaimset seost esivanemate poolt kasutatud aladega. Joekaldaid, eriti kui laheduses paiknes mingi looduslikult silmatorkav objekt, naiteks juga, kasutati inimeste poolt parast viljelusmajandusele uleminekut sageli edasi ka juhul, kui vahetus laheduses sobivaid pollumaid ei leidunud. Otsene elukoht nihkus sellisel juhul kull mujale, poldude lahikonda, vanadesse asulapaikadesse pustitati aga kalmeid voi jaid need kasutusse kultuskohana. Ka varasema asula ala taielikul hulgamisel poorduti vahel sajandeid hiljem samasse kohta tagasi.

Kultuurmaastiku jarjepidevuses, selle elementide seoses kohaliku identiteediga on oma osa ka sadamakohtadel. Nagu on teada Saaremaal ning naiteks ka Skandinaavias, tekkisid muinasaja lopu sadamakohtadesse hiljem sageli kulad, kuigi meri vois maatousu tagajarjel olla taandunud juba kilomeetreid eemale. Eri asustusjarkude vahele vois jaada isegi mitme sajandi pikkune paus. Toenaoliselt toimus selline areng ka mitme joe kallastel, kus mingil ajahetkel vois olla tegu joesadamaga. Ka ammu maha jaetud ning praegusest rannast kaugele jaavate muistsete sadamakohtade maletamine kohalikus folklooris moisakohtade voi linnamagedena viitab jarjepidevusele, sedakorda labi maastiku hierarhilise motestamise. Koha kunagine funktsioon on ununenud, teadmine koha olulisusest kultuurmaastikul on aga jaanud.

Eesti ajalugu on vahetult seotud geograafilise paiknemisega mere aares, rahvusvaheliste kaubateede ristumiskohal. Nii saarte kui ka mandri rannalahedaste alade asukate igapaevaelu on labi aegade soltunud merest ning sellega seotud tegevusest, isegi kui elati rannast mitmeid kilomeetreid eemal. Et merenduslik aspekt on siinses arheoloogias seni vaid vahest kasitlemist leidnud, on ilmselt 20. sajandi poliitiliste olude suu. Seda tuhikut on nuud asunud taitma eelnimetatud uurimisprojektid, mille esimeseks ullitiseks ongi kaesolev erinumber.
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Author:Magi, Marika
Publication:Estonian Journal of Archaeology
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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