The Stone Age.
The oldest signs of human movement in Finland are 10000 years old. The first residents have arrived here from the south and east. The wild Forests had plenty of the game such as moose, bears and beavers. Waterways provided an opportunity for fishing and seal hunting. Wildfowling was also prominent. The Nordic Finland was inhabited throughout the year. An Antiquity find at Kirkonnummi, is an ice pick called “Tuura”, which is more like an ice breaking crow bar, with a long handle. It pointed to the winter fishing on ice covered lakes. Also, a sleigh found at Heinola, and ancient set of skis found at the Salla region in north Finland. Their origins have been radiocarbon dated back to the Stone Age, 3200 BC, they were found in 1938 in a watery swamp at Sarkiaapa in Sarkela.
It makes the point that some people inhabited the Nordic Finland during the Stone Age, throughout the year and their need for winter travel and movement. Artifacts made out of the local raw material like quartz and used as tools and weapons. In East Karelia, at Aaninen, there were primitive tools made e.g. chisels and axes from shale/slate stone. Some of the tool and objects had been made from bone, horn, wood, bark or leather.
It is uncertain at this time to determine what family, tribe, or Nation they belonged to. It is becoming clear how one indigenous group of the Baltic Finns language endured and how that community group settled and continued to live on the Inkeri-land for many thousands of years as a community. I think it is fair to say that they survived because of their skills in fishing, hunting, building, farming, crafts, manufacturing, cooking, nurturing the family, caring for the community, and diligently foraging for natural food ingredients from the forest.
They settled on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Finland around 2500 BC, known as the Inkeri-land. It is clear that the Baltic Finns used and developed a common Finnish language as a community around 1000AD, between the: Chuds, Estonians, Izhorians, Vepsians. The language did endure amongst the Inkeri-land people and was passed on down generations at least until the 1920’s. Common use of the same Finnish language in the Inkeri community: (Saressalo, 2000)
There was a period of time during the Viking Age from 800 AD to the 1200 AD of wars and conflict between the West and the East. But the War for the Inkeri-land soil between the Political power players of the Baltic Sea was: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Novgorod’s on the Russian side, this war did not start until early 1200 AD. The turmoil of wars had a raking effect over the Inkeri-land, with many pressures, pushes and shoves effects to scatter the Inkeri civilian people. Persecution came from the dominating political opposing forces on the Ingria-land. The continues flow of the foreign migrants over centuries, people from south and east Russian settling down around them.
The Bronze Age.
The Northern European Bronze Age cultures came later into existence thought merchant trading; there are many sites with well-preserved objects made of wool, wood and imported Central European bronze and gold. There are many rock carvings of ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships suggest that shipping played a prominent role. In Finland at a location known as the; Sammallahdenmaki (translated; Lichen bay hill), this site is located in the lower municipality of Satakunta, in the village of Kivikyla (Stone town), Lappi parish. The site consists of a cluster of 33 stone cairns spread out over an area nearly one kilometre in length.
In northern Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Bronze Age inhabitants manufactured many distinctive and beautiful artifacts, such as pairs of lurer horns discovered in Denmark. Some linguists believe that a proto-Indo-European language was probably introduced to the area around 2000 BC, which eventually became the ancestor of the Germanic languages. This would fit with the evolution of the Nordic Bronze Age into the most probably Germanic pre-Roman Iron Age.
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian (Norse) Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Anatolia. Additionally, there is evidence to support the Vinland legend that Vikings reached farther south to the North American continent. (Wikipedia, Norse)
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms. (Wikipedia, Norsemen).
It was during the Viking era that the significance of the Karelia Isthmus in the Baltic Sea and the lake Ladoga area grew. As the industrial commerce of weapons, tools and goods increased the abundance commerce increased. People from the west of Finland also wanted to take part in the increasing East trade. People also from Karelia and from the Inkeri community went with the Vikings Eastwards as the interest in the traffic route grew. The Karelian journey Eastward was most likely during the Vikings trading, like a commerce road East wards, along the south of Lake Ladoga and south-eastern side of the trade centers.
The ancient Karelian heyday occurred in the Crusade period 1100-1200 AD. Population growth and prosperity based on the development of agriculture. During the Crusade periods, the Karelian core area consisted of the area downstream from the Vuoksi River, it is part of the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga northwest and north coast.
According to the earliest East Slavic record, the Primary Chronicle, the Rus’ was a group of Varangians among others like Swedes and Gutes who lived on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in Scandinavia and as far as the land of English and French. The Varangians were first expelled, then invited to rule the warring Slavic and Finnic tribes of Novgorod:
Saressalo, L. (2000). Inkeri, kertomus Inkerin Kansoista ja kulttuurista. Tampere: Tampere Museum.
Wikipedia. (N.d.). Norse. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia-Norse.
Wikipedia. (N.d.). Norsemen. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia.