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More Stone Age rock art found in Finnish lake district

Red stripes and hand markings, partially hidden under lichen, have been discovered on the shore of Lake Saimaa.

Kalliomaalaus.
The paintings are located on a rock face of a hill called Tikaskaarteenvuori. Image: Ismo Luukkonen

Previously unknown Stone Age rock paintings have been identified in eastern Finland. Paintings are located on a rock face of a hill called Tikaskaarteenvuori in the village of Anttola on the shore of Luonteri, part of the sprawling Saimaa lake system. Anttola is part of the municipality of Mikkeli, some 25 km from the town itself.

Rock paintings were discovered nearby in the 1990s, but the newly-found images are about five metres lower on the surface.

“This means that the newly discovered pictures are younger than those previously found,” says archaeologist Timo Sepänmaa of the Museum of Central Finland in Jyväskylä, who has been to the site to study the ‘new’ paintings.

Story continues after photo

Jään päällä oli tapaninpäivänä ohut jääkerros.
Luonteri is part of the vast Saimaa lake system. Image: Petri Vironen / Yle

Sepänmaa says that the newly confirmed paintings stretch across an area measuring nine and a half metres.

They were discovered by a rock art enthusiast in May. Some of the paintings seem to be prints from someone’s right hand. Most of the rest are red lines or stripes measuring some two centimetres wide. Their length ranges from five to 25 cm. Some of the paintings are hidden under lichen.

“The paintings will remain like that, awaiting further research,” says Sepänmaa. “The lichen may only be removed with permission from the Finnish Heritage Society,” previously known as the National Board of Antiquities.

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