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Ristola Stone Age Settlement Site - historical sights

Address: Uusi Orimattilantie 95 Lahti Show map

Address: Uusi Orimattilantie 95 Lahti

Ristola is one of Finland's best-known Stone Age sites. Dating from around 10,400 years ago, it is regarded as one of the oldest dwelling sites in the country. Ristola and its surroundings have been investigated actively.

Like most Stone Age settlements, Ristola was originally on the water line, at the far end of a fiord-like bay of the sea extending deep into the inland. The Stone Age population preferred locations of this kind, as the sea, the nearby river mouth and the surrounding forests all provided resources, and it was not necessary to relocate so often. Owing to land uplift, the sea gradually receded, and Ristola was ultimately abandoned. Much later, towards the end of the Stone Age, it was resettled, this time by settlers of the Corded Ware or Boat-Axe Culture.

Now, thousands of years later, the sea is over a hundred kilometres from Ristola, which is approximately 73 metres above present sea-level. This suggests that the first settlers arrived there around 8600-8200 BC. The exceptional age of the Ristola site is also suggested by finds of artefacts of a special type of flint, including knives, arrowheads and scrapers. There are no finds of similar objects from Finland, but they are known from Estonia and other areas of the so-called Kunda Culture of the period. It appears that the first permanent settlement of Finland came from the area of present-day Estonia across the Baltic. There also appears to have been a prehistoric quartz quarry right next to the Ristola site. A quartz deposit at a location that was excellent for Stone Age people may have been one reason why Ristola was originally occupied.

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