Advertisement

GeoJournal

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 185–190 | Cite as

Shoreline development and Swedish colonisation of north-west Estonia during the Middle Ages

  • Göran Hoppe
  • Ingrid Nõulik
  • Jaan-Mati Punning
Article

Abstract

This paper focuses on how landscape development in areas of land uplift has come to direct the primary human colonisation on the coastal areas in north-western Estonia. A Swedish-speaking minority population has at least since medieval times settled these areas. On the basis of an estimation of the rate of land uplift, the shoreline development and topography of a section of the coast was reconstructed. In this respect, it appears that large changes have occurred in that during the Middle Ages, the coast was much steeper but also much longer than today, full of little bays and points. This means that the drainage of near-shore areas was more intensive and that it was possible to find suitable landing places and well-sheltered harbours in some locations. These locations appear to have been primary settlements of the Swedish-speaking colonists and are very similar to coastal settlements of the same age along other coasts of the central Baltic Sea basin. Thus, the results presented in the paper allow the selection of primary research sites for field studies of the early settlement history of this ancient Estonian minority.

coastline development Estonian-Swedes land uplift north-west Estonia settlement history 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blumfeldt E., 1961: Estlandssvenskarnas historia. (The History of the Estonian Swedes) In: Lagman E. (ed.), En bok om Estlands svenskar, Stockholm (in Swedish).Google Scholar
  2. Carlsson D., 1999a: Harbours and farms on Gotland. In: Blomkvist N. & Lindquist S.-O. (eds), Europeans or not? Culture Clash or Compromise Papers 1. Centre for Baltic Studies, Visby.Google Scholar
  3. Carlsson D., 1999b: Gård, hamn och kyrka: En vikingatida kyrkogård i Fröjel (Farm, harbour and church: A Viking-age cemetery in Fröjel). Culture Clash or Compromise Papers 3. Centre for Baltic Studies, Visby (in Swedish, summary in English).Google Scholar
  4. Eronen M., 1987: Global sea level changes, crustal movements and quarternary shorelines in Fennoscandia. Geological Survey of Finland, 2: (Special paper) 31–36.Google Scholar
  5. Hedman J., 1989: När och varifrån kom den svenska befolkningen till Dagö? (When and from where came the Swedish population to Hiumaa/Dagö?) In: Utas J. (ed.), Svenskbyborna 60 år i Sverige. Visby (in Swedish).Google Scholar
  6. Hoppe G. & Markus F., 2001: Kring frågan om estlandssvenskarnas äldsta historia. (On the earliest history of the Estonian Swedes) Kustbon 3–4 (in Swedish).Google Scholar
  7. Jansson I., 2000: Östersjöländerna och vikingatiden (The Baltic Sea States and the Viking Age). In: Dahlbäck K. (ed.), Att förstå det mänskliga, pp. 109–137, Stockholm (in Swedish).Google Scholar
  8. Johansen P., 1951: Nordische Mission, Revals Gründung und die Schwedensiedlung in Estland. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens Handlingar no 72, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  9. Kessel H. & Punning J.-M., 1972: Pilk Läänemere geoloogilisse minevikku Ecstis (The geological past of the Estonian part of the Baltic Sea — An overview). Eesti Loodus 10: 612–616 (in Estonian, English summary).Google Scholar
  10. Lang V., 1999: The introduction and early history of farming in Estonia, as revealed by the archaeological material. In: Miller U., Hackens T., Lang V., Raukas A. & Hicks S. (eds), Environmental and Cultural History of the Eastern Baltic Region (PACT, 57.), pp. 325–338, Rixensart.Google Scholar
  11. Markus F., 2003: Early agriculture in Enby — an Estonian-Swedish village. Research reports, Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University.Google Scholar
  12. Mandel M., 1993: Läänemaa esiajalugu (The prehistory of Läänemaa, West Estonia). Haapsalu (in Estonian).Google Scholar
  13. Mörner N.-A., 1979: The Fennoscandian uplift and Late Genozoic geodynamics. GeoJournal, 3: 287–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Peil T., 1999: Islescapes. Estonian small islands through three centuries. Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Stockholm Studies in Human Geography 8.Google Scholar
  15. Punning J.-M., 1987: Holocene eustatic oscillations of the Baltic Sea level. Journal of Coastal Research, 3(4): 504–513.Google Scholar
  16. Roeck-Hansen B., 1991: Township and Territory. Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Stockholm Studies in Human Geography 6.Google Scholar
  17. Roeck-Hansen B., 1998: Early Agrarian Landscapes in Finland. Geografiska Annaler Series B, Human Geography, 80(B4): 187–201.Google Scholar
  18. Vallner L., Sildvee H. & Torim A., 1988: Recent crustal movements in Estonia. Journal of Geodynamics, 9: 215–233.Google Scholar
  19. Veski S., 1998: Vegetation history, human impact and palaeogeography of West Estonia: Pollen analytical studies of lake and bog sediments. Striae 38, Uppsala.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Göran Hoppe
    • 1
    • 1
  • Ingrid Nõulik
    • 2
  • Jaan-Mati Punning
    • 2
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeographyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Institute of EcologyTallinn Pedagogical UniversityTallinnEstonia

Personalised recommendations