Remains of one of Estonia's largest 13th-century structures unearthed

Rosma hillfort.
Rosma hillfort. Source: ERR

The burned remains of one of the largest structures in the 13th century Estonia were discovered during an excavation on the Rosma hill.

Archaeologists intended to excavate the site of a former fortification trench on the Rosma hill in southeast Estonia, historical Võrumaa province, but instead unearthed the charred remains of a large structure. The building discovered in Rosma is only marginally smaller than the hitherto largest known structure on Lõhavere hillfort.

"We are now excavating the walls of the house; at first, only the tops of the logs were visible, but we are now attempting to unearth the entire logs to determine where they all originated," Karin Rannaaar, archaeology master's student, said.

The site, a 50-square-meter structure, may have been used as a representative building or granary, as the floor is covered with charred grain.

"One of the building's walls is eight meters long /.../ and has a hook carved into it and another wood placed into it crosswise. But all of this is extraordinarily large, especially given the remoteness of southern Estonia. We have very few findings from the end of the 'ancient' period (Estonian medieval era is also known as 'ancient freedom fight' time, - ed.) from this area, as if there were no or very few people inhabiting the region. And yet the largest and strongest forts in South Estonia were built here," Heiki Valk, an archaeology professor, said.

Charred grains found during an archeological dig at the Rosma ancient settlement site. Source: Leevi Lillemäe/ERR


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Kristina Kersa

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