Kristiina Astuvansalmi Yleiskuva Helena Taskinen D47511
Astuvansalmi rock paintings. Image: Helena Taskinen

Nationally significant archaeological sites VARK

A three-year project by the Finnish Heritage Agency to define the most significant archaeological sites in continental Finland. The project will be completed in 2023.

The goal is to prepare a list that the Finnish Government can approve as the inventory referred to in the national land use guidelines based on the Land Use and Building Act.

The inventory sites must be acknowledged as one of the starting points of land use planning.

The aim is to prepare a compendium that provides as good an overview as possible of the antiquity of Finland’s land areas (excluding the province of Åland).

The assessment and selection of sites will be carried out based on information in the Ancient Relics Register. As part of the inventory, terrain inspections have been carried out on sites with outdated or inaccurate data.

VARK sites provide an impression of Finnish archaeological cultural heritage that is comprehensive both historically and regionally as well as in terms of monument types. The assessment of the sites focuses on examining the archaeological or cultural and historical significance of each site, i.e. how well the site depicts the phenomena, processes and events associated with its time period.

The assessment will also involve determining how well the site had been preserved, its value in terms of research and whether the site is particularly characteristic or rare for the region or at the national level. Additionally, the assessment will include an evaluation of the site’s archaeological diversity and its environment and landscape.

Project Manager Teija Tiitinen, tel. +358 (0)295 33 6293