• PhD Tõnno Jonuks



By using archaeological material and comparing it with analogies from oraltradition we can putatively identify some holy places which have been im-portant in past religions, but which have lost their holiness over the course oftime and due to changes in past religions. In doing this, it would be importantto distinguish two categories of holy sites. First, there are classic holy places,the knowledge of which predominantly derives from the living religion andliving folk tradition, and which relate primarily to the folk religion of the re-cent past. But in addition there are also sites that may have had significanceas holy places in different periods of the past, but which have lost this mean-ing and together with it also the folklore as the main source material. Thus itis important to consider other sources, such as archaeological sites, finds etc.,in order to recognize places which may have had an importance in the contextof some past religion. It is clear that we cannot see the whole of the holy land-scape of the past, but such an approach still permits us to observe holy placesin a more dynamic way, where the meaning of places has changed togetherwith the rest of religion, society and the settlement pattern, and where holyplaces may have been abandoned or new places brought into use.


Download data is not yet available.


AI = Archaeological collection of the Institute of History at Tallinn University

TÜ = Archaeological collection of the University of Tartu

Hedeager, 1992. Hedeager L. Iron Age Societies. From Tribe to State in Northern Europe, 500 BC to AD 700. Oxford, 1992.

Hårdh, 1996. Hårdh B. Silver in the Viking Age. A Regional-Economic Study. Acta Archaeologica Lundensia. Series in 8º, 25. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell International, 1996.

Jonuks, 2007. Jonuks T. Holy groves in Estonian religion. Estonian Journal of Archaeology. 11, 1. 2007. 3–35.

Jonuks, 2009a . Jonuks T. Eesti muinasusund. Dissertationes archaeologiae universitatis Tartuensis 2. Tartu University Press, 2009.

Jonuks, 2009b. Jonuks T. Hiis Sites in the Research History of Estonian Sacred Places. Folklore. 42. 2009. 23–44.

Koski, 1967. Koski M. Itämerensuomalaisten kielten hiisi-sanue. Semanttinen tutkimus. I. Turun yliopiston julkaisuja. Sarja C. Scripta lingua fennica edita. Turun yliopisto, 1967.

Koktvedgaard Zeiten, 1997. Koktvedgaard Zeiten M. Amulets and amulet use in Viking Age Denmark. Acta Archaeologica. 68. 1997. 1–74.

Lang, 2000. Lang V. Keskusest ääremaaks: Viljelusmajandusliku asustuse kujunemine ja areng Vihasoo-Palmse piirkonnas Virumaal. Muinasaja teadus. 7. Tallinn, Ajaloo Instituut, 2000.

Lekberg, 2002. Lekberg P. Yxors liv – Människors landskap. En studie av kulturlandskap och samhälle i Mellansveriges senneolitikum. Uppsala, 2002.

Lõugas, 1996. Lõugas V. Kaali kraatriväljal Phaetonit otsimas. Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus. Tallinn, 1996.

Oras, 2010. Oras E. Ritual Wealth Deposits in Estonian Middle Iron Age Material. Estonian Journal of Archaeology 14(2), 123–142.

Sjögren, 2004. Sjögren K.-G. Megalithic tombs, ideology, and society in Sweden. Coast to Coast – Arrival. Results and Reflections. Proceedings of the Final Coast to Coast Conference 1–5 October 2002 in Falköping, Sweden. Ed by H. Knutsson. Uppsala, 2004. 157–182.

Stjernquist, 1997. Stjernquist B. The Röekillorna Spring. Spring-cults in Scandinavian Prehistory. Contributions by T. Nilsson & U. Møhl. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1997.

Tamla, 1985. Tamla T. Kultuslikud allikad Eestis. Rahvasuust kirjapanekuni. Uurimusi rahvaluule ja proosaloomingu kogumisloost. Ed. Ü. Tedre. Emakeele Seltsi toimetised, 17. Tallinn, 1985. 122–146.

Tamla, 1995. Tamla T. Einige Estnische Moorfunde aus dem ersten Jahrtausend. Archaeology East and West of the Baltic. Ed. by I. Jansson. Theses and papers in archaeology N. S. A 7. Stockholm, 1995. 103–110.

Urtāns, 2008. Urtāns J. Ancient Cult Sites of Semigallia. Zemgales senās kulta vietas. CCC papers, 11. Nordik, 2008.

Vaitkevičius, 2004. Vaitkevičius V. Studies into the Balt’s Sacred Places. BAR International Series 1228. Oxford, 2004.

Valk, 1995. Valk H. Lõuna-Eesti XIII–XVII/XVIII sajandi külakalmistud rahvatraditsioonis ja uskumustes. Rahvausund tänapäeval. Ed. by M. Hiiemäe & M. Kõiva. Eesti TA Eesti Keele Instituut; Eesti TA Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Tartu. 454–471.

Valk, 2007. Valk H. Choosing holy places. Continuity and Innovation in Religion in the Roman West. I. Eds. R. Haeussler & A. C. King. The Journal of Roman Archaeology. JRA Supplementary Series, No 67. Rhode Island, Portsmouth, 2007. 201–212.

Vedru. Vedru G. Ritual landscape. Estonian Journal of Archaeology. 2004.

Viidalepp, 1940. Viidalepp R. Iseloomustavat Eesti ohvrikividest. Eesti Kirjandus. Tartu: Eesti Rahvaluule arhiiv, 1940. 10–12.

Уртанс, 1988. Уртанс Ю.-Т.В. Языческие культовые памятники на территории Латвии. Автореферат диссертации на соискание ученой степени кандидата исторических наук. – Ленинград: Академия наук СССР, 1988.