Ruhnu IV settlement

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5275 BC

About11 550 years ago the connection with ocean occurred at the Baltic ice reservoir, when the water level lowered Ruhnu raised from the sea. B.c. - at the end of the stage of Antsülusjärve the area of Ruhnu island was considerably larger of the current one, this on account of the areas reaching east and north east.

About 6000-4500 b.c. - stage of Littorina Sea when the water level raised and the area of the island decreased. By the year 4500 b.c. Ruhnu established the horseshoe-like island in the size of couple of kilometres which surrounded the low gulf. Since that day the area of Ruhnu has been increasing.

About 5275 - 5070 b.c. - the oldest calibrated age settings received from the coal samples from hearth places (1999). At that time the subsistence method of people around the Baltic Sea became more marine. At the coast one of the most important games was a seal. At the trips of seal hunting proceeding from the continent several islands were discovered.

The temporary hunting camps were established on them and soon the annually permanent institution was established on the major islands, on the current Estonian waters in Saaremaa. Ruhnu islet was probably also found by the seal hunters and was turned into the location of the hunting camp.

People live there on the more plain and wind-protected places at the sea coast. The island provided the opportunity to receive the firewood at site and leave part of the equipment for the new hunting trip. Currently six Stone Age settlements are known in Ruhnu.
This number is naturally only the conditional marking with the traces of human activities at the spread area of culture layer on the current landscape. Really this means the remains of hundreds, but not thousands of small seasonal remaining of hunting camps and stopping places.

Only a small group of people probably lived on the island, but the residence was changed from time to time, the reason was the finishing of the firewood in the nearest surrounding, drifting away of the sea border etc. The origin of the first settlement is specified especially by the chips of pottery found at Ruhnu IV settlement. This settlement or at least part of it belongs to the early-Neolithic Narva culture.

The chips of pottery found in Ruhnu belong to the ceramic group of Narva which is up to now known only from the islands of Lääne-Eesti: Kõnnu settlement of Saaremaa and Kõpu I settlement of Hiiumaa.

On photo: Ruhnu wood church. The building of the church was started during 22 November 1643 where up to now the chapel had been standing. This is the Estonian oldest preserved wooden building.

Allikad (pildid): A.Pajur, A. Kriiska, A. Tvauri, A. Selart, B. Kibal, A. Andersen "Eesti Ajaloo Atlas" Avita 2006

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