Gallery: Haapsalu archaeological dig reveals substantial medieval-era wall

Archaeological digs in the western Estonian town of Haapsalu have yielded some interesting finds, including ceramics, while more substantial items have shed more light on the town's history.

The excavations, which started last year on Rüütli street, close to the town's well known beach promenade, have revealed a substantial wall which ran along the north side of the city, at least as it was in the later middle ages (see gallery).

The sheer size of the wall raised questions, archaeologist Anton Pärn says,

"Clarification is yet to come, but in itself it is a very unique and surprising find, which has been preserved due to the fact that later walls were built on top of an earlier one," Pärn said, adding the section under examination may date from the 14th century, while the layer concerning the oldest period in the town's history, dating back to the preceding century, had already been reached.

Rare ceramic finds had also been made, Pärn went on.

He said: "The oldest finds date from the third quarter of the 13th century. Most likely the most unique of these are fragments of a spherical pot, quite unique in the context of Haapsalu."

Founded in the 13th centrury, Haapsalu was at the center of the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek (Ösel being the Baltic German name for Saaremaa – ed.) through to the reformation. The town's castle also dates back to this period.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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