From the Hill-Fort of Iru to the Convent of St. Birgitta. Maritime Cultural Landscape on the Lower Reaches of the Pirita River Cover Image
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Iru linnusest Püha Birgitta kloostrini. Merenduslik kultuurmaastik Pirita jõe alamjooksul
From the Hill-Fort of Iru to the Convent of St. Birgitta. Maritime Cultural Landscape on the Lower Reaches of the Pirita River

Author(s): Marika Mägi
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Eesti Kunstiteadlaste Ühing
Keywords: trade centres; landscape archaeology; maritime landscapes; prehistoric harbour sites

Summary/Abstract: This article gives an overview of the development trends of maritime landscapes in the Nordic countries and in Estonia, and examines the role of the most significant buildings on the lower reaches of the Pirita River – the Iru hill-fort and the Pirita convent – in the development of the cultural landscape surrounding the Bay of Tallinn. The author offers an interpretation of the ancient Iru complex; there was a trading centre already in the Bronze Age, especially starting from the pre-Viking period, and Iru was not a settlement concentration point as has been suggested previously. Its subsequent development proceeded hand in hand with tendencies observed elsewhere in the Baltic Sea region, i.e. with developing social relations, and with the foreign trade concentrated in single larger harbour sites that later became medieval towns. In the course of this process, the harbours moved closer to the sea and the previous harbour sites lost their significance, although they remained the trading centres of local areas. One such place was the estuary of the Pirita River; the convent established there in the 15th century can be seen, in addition to having a sacral function, as a manifestation of power and a defence structure for the nearby trading centre.

  • Issue Year: 16/2007
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 17-38
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Estonian