Beginning of the Iron Age in Estonia

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500 BC

In Estonia, the Iron Age is better known than the previous eras, as it provides some written sources about the region; also, the archaeological finds are more numerous.

Bronze brooch from Türsamäe

Usually, the Iron Age is divided into several periods, most simple division would be Early-, Middle-, and Late Iron Age. It is thought, that the Early Iron Age begun around the middle of the first millennium BC, even though it is surmised that in Estonia, people begun making iron tools already 1000 years earlier - around the time when Kaali meteorite fell to Saaremaa. This, however, has remained to be a supposition.

Early Iron Age is usually divided into Pre-Roman and Roman Iron Age. During this era, farming became more prominent and settlements grew. It is possible, that some sort of local tax system was established, as evidence of measuring the fields can be found. During the Roman Iron Age (1-450), Estonia had strong trade ties with neighboring areas to the south; these, in return, traded with the Roman Empire. The Roman Iron Age is considered to be an era of relative peace, as no evidence of fortified settlements or fortresses have been found.

During the Pre-Roman era, people were buried in stone cist graves, similarly to the Bronze Age; during the Roman Iron Age, quadrangular mounds were more widespread.

 Source: A.Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tannberg "Eesti ajalugu I" 1997 "Avita"

Eesti Ajaloo Atlas

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