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– It seems that the people that were buried in Levänluhta had a completely different worldview and attitude towards death than was typical for that time. They perhaps did not think that it was important to underscore the wealth and social status of the deceased by placing objects or piles of stones by the grave, as was common during those times.
Anna Wessman, archeologist
Levänluhta spring, which is located in Ostrobothnia, was reserved mainly for women and children who lived during the iron age. It is unknown who the deceased were. They were buried into the water using birch poles. This was a highly unusual burial custom during those times. Osteological analysis of the bones that have been found by and around the spring, indicate that the burial place was used between 400-700 bc. This means that spring has been a significant commemorative place for a particular community for hundreds of years. They have returned there over and over again. A wealth of animal bones and objects typical for that time have also been unearthed from the Levänluhta area. Interpretations and theories surrounding the burial customs of the deceased have been rich and varied. For a long time Levänluhta was believed to be a sacrificial fount, which, through newer analysis of the archeological material, has turned out to be unlikely. No signs of trauma have been found on any of the deceased’s bones.
The Levänluhta site is first mentioned in a letter written in 1674 by Israel Alftanus, the vicar of Isokyrö parish, to the Antiquity Commission in Stockholm, in which he tells about a spring in the wet meadows of Orismala parish “where human bones rise, and have always risen.”
For this soundwalk, we have made use of archival and research material relating to Levänluhdan lähde.
Lehmäjoen maaseutunaiset, Jami-pony, Terhi Havina, Nina Pettersson-Perklen, Dior-horse, Pia Andersson, Ilkka Saastamoinen, Antti Nyyssölä, Jakob Öhrman, Marja-Liisa ja Antero Honkasalo, Veronika Honkasalo, Lukas Honkasalo, Eva Havo, Rasmus Slätis, Helmi-Leena Nummela, Kyrö Distillery, Annika Luther, Otto Sandqvist, Lasse ja Marianne Niemi, Noppe Niemi, Luna ja Lime Vilpas, Biegga Virtanen
This work has been supported by:
Alfred Kordelinin Foundation, Kone Foundation, TAIKE and Svensk-Österbottniska Samfundet