YMPACT at The XVI Finnish-Russian Archaeological symposium

On the 10th and the 11th of October, 2019, The Finnish Heritage Agency, The Finnish Antiquarian Society, Suomalais-venäläisen arkeologian alan yhteistyöryhmä and the City of Hämeenlinna organized The XVI Finnish-Russian Archaeological Symposium. The event took place at the Häme Castle, and specialists from the Russian Federation and Finland discussed the theme of Materiality and Objects: Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Archaeological Material and Contexts in 6 sessions.

Volker Heyd, the PI of the Yamnaya Impact on Prehistoric Europe ERC Advanced Project and professor of archaeology at University of Helsinki, gave a lecture titled Migrants, terrestrial diet and intensive networking: A different look at the Corded Ware in Finland, the Baltic Countries, and beyond. The lecture opened Session IV of the symposium and focused on the latest prehistoric research conducted in Finland, the Baltic countries and northwestern Russia, which yields new information on the interactions within and beyond the Corded Ware region and the impact of the Yamnaya and Corded Ware phenomena on the population of the area.


Migrants, terrestrial diet and intensive networking:

A different look at the Corded Ware in Finland, the Baltic countries, and beyond

In recent years, fundamentally new insights were made of the Corded Ware in Finland and neighboring countries in the eastern Baltic region. Mostly due to the application of modern natural scientific methods, we now have a first understanding of their vessel contents and consumption; the use of previous broken vessels as temper and consequently their networking across the eastern Baltic; their stock animals (goat and cattle now for sure); their ancient DNA in Estonia and the other Baltic countries; their pattern of admixture with local hunter-gatherers; their diseases; and their interaction with local and regional natural environments. Several other investigations are just brought on its way, such as Finnish Corded Ware burial customs; absolute datings; and its end in the later third millennium BC. Concurrently research on their single find stone battle axes, numbering more than one thousand specimen in Finland alone, on their typology, stone sources, exchanges and rituals is being considered as well as are discussed further pottery studies under the header of “The Foreigner and the Local” and deeper insights into environment and subsistence by using the ecology of dendrodates.

The paper will thus highlight latest prehistoric research into the Corded Ware of the eastern Baltic region and adjacent northwestern Russia, will put the region into contexts of the wider Yamnaya and Corded Ware phenomena, and will focus on the potential directions of next decade’s research.