Bronze Age cairn in Herttoniemi. Picture by EAW 2020.
Approximately one kilometer west of Herttoniemi manor are several cairns, i.e. graves, från the Bronze Age. One of them is behind the cliff at the busstop Kipparlahti near the harbor. It is 19 x 19 m wide and 1 m tall. Nearby lie a few other similar cairns aswell. They have been excavated and a few bone fragments, cole and horseteeth were found. In the report written by Nils Cleve and Erik Drake you can see photos of the area from 1929. Their were many trees here at that time – nowadays here are tall houses and many streets.
How was life in the Bronze Age? We do not know too much, but there were changes in the worldview due to the fact that people stopped burying their dead under ground and started burning them and bury them i stonecairns. Bronze was invented in Western Asia in about 3000 BC and spread to Europe, and up north in about 1500 BC. People seem to have had vast networks and were activily participating in trade. The cairns were built near water. Possibly the water element was important both physically and mentally.
There are cairns from the Bronze Age remaining also in other parts of Helsinki such as in Meilahti (see the picture below). Water could have been a mirror to the supernatural world. But at least it united people around the coasts of the sea. And coninued do to so for thousands of years.
The cairn in Meilahti. Picture by EAW 2017.
The location of the cairn can be found in the database of National Bureau of Antiquities, here.
The report from 1929 can be read in the same database, here.