Sammallahdenmäki, a burial site in Finland with World Heritage status


The Bronze Age burial site of Sammallahdenmäki in Finland has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1999. Sammallahdenmäki is a mossy hill covering 33 hectares with 36 stone graves or cairns on top. The hill stands in the region called Lappi (Rauma in Lager Satakunta) in the west of Finland. It lies now between the towns of Rauma and Tampere, but in the Bronze Age it must have stood by the sea. In the nineteenth century treasure seekers were busy here but fortunately the sites are very well preserved.

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Sammallahdenmäki grafveld uit de bronstijd
Sammallahdenmäki . By Västgöten [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

The cairns of van Sammallahdenmäki

These graves date from around 3,000 years ago, between 1,500 BC and 500 BC. The site was used for burials from the beginning of the Early Bronze Age and is the best place in Finland to learn about Bronze Age burial rituals in the area. The cairns stand in clusters close together and so far eight have been excavated, mainly by the archaeologist Högman in 1891: six from the Bronze Age and two from the Early Iron Age. The cairns are of granite and are typical examples of the Bronze Age culture in Western Europe. The tombs are categorised based on their size and shape: low, round and small cairns, large mound-shaped cairns and round cairns with stone circles. Two cairns stand out: Kirkonlaattia (or ‘church floor’) and Huilun pitkä raunio (the long ruin of Huilu). The Kirkonlaattia is a long rectangular cairn with a diameter of 18 to 19 metres and a flat top, a type unique in Scandinavia. Huilun pitkä raunio is oval and also rectangular in shape (24 metres long and 8 metres wide) and seems to have been enlarged in stages. The cairns are more than just graves, they are also recognisable landmarks in the landscape.

Grafveld bronstijd in Finland
Kirkonlaattia. By Västgöten [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
Sammallahdenmäki finland
Sammallahdenmäki. By Västgöten [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.

Location :  

Sammallahdentie, 27230 Rauma, Finland


Finnish heritage agency



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