Sunday, 27 October 2019

Ancient gold bracelet found in Saaremaa

Earlier last month amateur archaeologist Jegor Klimov made the discovery of a lifetime. With the aid of his metal detector he came across  a 1700 year old sacifical site on the island of Saaremaa. The site contained a treasure trove of ancient artifacts including silver and gold plated brooches and belt plagues but the most exciting item amongst the collection was the massive gold bracelet that dates back to the 3rd century. Nothing like this has been found in Estonia before.  It's a rare find. 

The value of the bracelet is believed to be between  €300,000 - €400,000.

Friday, 25 October 2019

PiparkoogiMaania / Gingerbreadmania 2019/2020

The theme for this year's exhibition at PiparkoogiMaania has been named 'Mythology'.  The month long exhibition held annually in Tallinn will see a variety of delicious  treats crafted into mythological creatures and objects relating to Estonian folklore. The exhibition opens on 5th December 2019.

Mütoloogia / Mythology

More information about opening hours, prices and workshops can be found on the PiparkoogiMaania website Pparkoogimaania.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Death in Estonia

Following on from my last entry, here are some useful terms and facts relating to death in Estonia.  Currently the Estonian death rate stands at 11.9% per 1000 of the population. According to the latest figures released by the Estonian Bureau of Statistics, over 14,000 people died in Estonia last year.

Traditionally Estonans prefer to be buried rather than cremated and their are certain customs associated with that. Preparing the body for the burial and selecting the right clothes is very important. After the funeral a feast follows in honour of the departed. It is also common in Estonia to take photographs at funerals as it is generally one of the few times, apart from weddings, when the whole family gathers.

Monday, 21 October 2019

My absence...

If anyone has been wondering why I haven't written much during the past few months, there is a very good reason. My mother has been very ill and sadly she passed away in August. I flew to her side twice this year and have spent the past three months in Australia, caring for her and then her affairs. It has been a very sad time for me and my family. Her demise is still incredibly shocking to me as my mother was the healthiest person I knew - by far. She didn't drink, smoke, always ate very well, lots of healthy fruits and vegetables and walked a lot. She avoided chemicals, excess sun exposure and medications. She didn't even like to take Panadol for a headache. That's how health conscious she was. So for her to have a tumour in her kidney, then develop a secondary cancer near her stomach is truly shocking for me. People who lead healthy lifestyles don't deserve to get sick. It's not right. I always thought my mother would live well into her 90s, like her aunt. Sadly she only made it to 70.

I'm no stranger to grief and loss, I have experienced it before but pain has a way of lingering until you find a way to deal with it. Having my mother's things around me does provide comfort and I always like to have lots of photos on display. I've made a nice little shrine dedicated to my mother on my window sill. Candles shine bright in her memory. 

Losing a mother is a significant event in one's life. It' happened to me much earlier than I expected which is why I feel so overwhelmed and shocked. Christmas will be tough for me this year as will be all future birthdays as our birthdays were a day apart. We shared many bonds and that was just one of them. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Baltic Cup Tallinn 2019

Last week I was sitting in the lounge room with my family in Sydney when my youngest brither rang to say he was in Tallinn. I had no idea he was in Estonia and to my surprise he was there playing AFL representing Poland! I couldn't believe it! For the past few years he has been living in Ktakow so it made sense that he would be playing for the Polish Devils. No doubt he was the only Estonian on the team! I'm so proud of my brother! 

My brother rang wanting our father to help him brush up on his Estonian. I heard the word 'naised' spoken so I had a fair idea what the plan was after the game! The lads had a great time in Tallinn.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Fragments of 100 Viking swords unearthed in north Estonia - ERR NEWS

Archaeologists have discovered fragments of about a hundred Viking swords, the largest find of Viking swords in Estonia to date, in northern Estonia.

The fragments were found in two closely located sites in a coastal area of north Estonia, in the territory of the ancient Estonian county of Ravala, late last autumn. 

The finds consisted of dozens of items, mostly fragments of swords and a few spearheads. 

Mauri Kiudsoo, archaeologist and keeper of the archaeological research collection of Tallinn University, told BNS the two sites were located just 80 metres apart. The swords date from the middle of the 10th century and are probably cenotaphs, grave markers dedicated to people buried elsewhere.

The reason why the swords were not found intact, Kiudsoo said, is due to the burial customs of the time. It is characteristic of finds in Estonia from the period that weapons were put into the graves broken or rendered unusable.

While the Ravala fragments constitute the biggest find of Viking-era weapons in Estonia, more important according to Kiudsoo, is the fact that the grips of the swords allow us to determine which type of swords they are. They have been identified as H-shaped double-edged swords. This type of sword was the most common type in the Viking era and over 700 have been found in northern Europe.

Kiudsoo said that by 1991, eight more or less intact type H swords and about 20 fragments had been discovered in Estonia but the number has risen to about 100. The overwhelming majority of the Estonian finds have come to light on the country's north coast, which lies by the most important remote trade route of the Viking era. 

Since the Ravala finds date from the middle of the 10th century they prove for the first time that type H swords were in use in the territory of Estonia in the 10th century, Kuidsoo said. 

Source; ERR NEWS