In Finnish and Russian Karelia (On Ancient Tracks)
In Finnish and Russian Karelia
(On Ancient Tracks)
Start date: Dec 31, 2003,
End date: May 30, 2006
The purpose of the project was to perform an archaeological inventory in the regions of Kesälahti, Kitee, Rääkkylä, Tohmajärvi, Tuupovaara and Värtsilä and to map out the archaeological cultural heritage in the Republic of Karelia. The local ancient ruins would be collected into a digital location database. Another aim was to organise a Finnish- Russian research seminar in Joensuu and compile the material for guidebooks for cultural travellers from both the rock drawings of Ääninen and the ancient relics of Karelia. The intention of the project was to emphasise the uniqueness of Karelian pre-history and to strengthen the cooperation between Finnish and Russian researchers. Also, the cooperation between the local museums of the border regions would be increased as well as the cultural environment would be protected and addressed to, and cultural tourism would be developed as part of the local cross-border cooperation. Achievements: An archaeological inventory was performed in central Karelia in the municipalities of Kesälahti, Rääkkylä, Kitee, Tohmajärvi, Värtsilä and Tuupovaara. A separate report was compiled for each municipality, the information was transferred to a database and forwarded to the municipalities. Old archaeological details were also included in the database. The information gathered from the inventories was also sent to the National Board of Antiquities, to be included as part of their Hertta-database. The archaeological inventory of the Karelian Lake Ladoga was performed jointly with Finnish and Russian archaeologists. The project designed a book of the rock drawings of Ääninen, which was written by a Russian archaeologist and illustrated with photographs by a Russian photographer. The achieved inventory results were publicised with scientific articles and various speeches during the Archaeology Days event. Because of the cancellation of a Finnish-Russian research seminar, the planned cooperation with the Russians remained more limited than originally intended. However, the project helped to create further cooperation with the Russians, as the Finnish and Russian researchers involved with the project were given a grant for archaeological research work on the origins of the Karelian peoples in the light of archaeology and physical anthropology. Based on the research results of the project, the National Board of Antiquities initiated excavations in Hiidenniemi in Kesälahti with the support of the TE-centre (the Employment and Economic Development Centre) after the project. The image material gathered during the project was added to the image archives of the Museum of North Karelia, and the inventory was utilised in a further project managed by the Museum of North Karelia, entitled Matka maakunnan menneisyyteen (A Journey to the Past of the Province), the purpose of which was to design web pages of each municipality and create an interactive learning environment in the local museum.
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