Maintenance on Jaagupi tarand-grave

On May 10th, the National Heritage Board in cooperation with Nõo Parish Council organized a maintenance day to trim the surroundings of Nõo Jaagupi tarand-graves. There were not many participants, but the team was big enough and well equipped to clean and tidy the area in only a few hours.

The smaller grave (registry no 12907) was covered with brushwood. The area was cleared with a brushcutter and cleaned to make the small stony heap a little bit more visible. This is a smaller tarand-grave which has not been excavated yet and is presented just the way one and a half millennia have preserved it.

The larger grave (registry no 12908) is one of the best known tarand –graves in Estonia. The volunteers cut down several large bushes and small trees to prevent them from destroying the grave construction or blocking the view. The old information stand was re-erected, but soon there will be a brand new display both in Estonian and English.

The smaller tarand-grave, almost cleaned.

After the first half hour, the pickup was full of cut branches and brushwood.

The locals were well equipped and enthusiastic!

We even had time for a small presentation and talk.

Tarand-graves became inherent to Estonia 8th century BC, but the grave type started spreading in southern Estonia only in 2nd– 3rd centuries AD, during the peak of Roman Empire. These conjoined stone rectangles served as the final resting place until 5th century. 

The larger grave has been fully excavated: already in 1887, archaeologists from St. Petersburg, Pavel Viskovatov and Georg Loeschke conducted excavations on the grave. Some years later, in 1933-1935 and 1938, Estonian archaeologists Harri Moora, Artur Vassar and Erna Ariste excavated the whole grave. The grave consisted of ten conjoined tarands and their building had probably begun from the west as older objects were in the western and newer artefacts spread more in the eastern part of the grave. The tarands were filled with smaller stones, the finds and cremated bones were scattered in between the fill. Some bones had been preserved in pits into which they had been deposited.

This is how we left the larger grave – nice and cleaned…

…and the board well visible from the road!

Anu Kivirüüt

National Heritage Board