The island of Gaddtarmen (Hauensuoli, The Pike´s Gut) off Hanko forms a natural harbour on a sailing route in the east-west direction. Sailors have made more than 600 carvings on the rocks while awaiting favourable winds. The oldest drawings date from the 15th and 16th centuries. Most of the carvings decpict coats of arms of Swedish and Finnish gentry. Probably the most famous carving was made in 1754 by Field Marshal Augustin Ehrensvärd, the originator of Suomenlinna sea fortress.

The site is a unique document relating to the history of the Baltic Sea. It’s added to the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Site by the National Board of Antiquities.

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Kråkuddsvägen, Hanko, Finland
See all sites in Hanko

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Founded: 1400-
Category:
Historical period: Middle Ages (Finland)

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Goseck Circle

The Goseck circle is a Neolithic circle structure. It may be the oldest and best known of the Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. It also may be one of the oldest Solar observatories in the world. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days.

Its construction is dated to c. 4900 BC, and it seems to have remained in use until 4600 BC. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments.

Excavators also found the remains of what may have been ritual fires, animal and human bones, and a headless skeleton near the southeastern gate, that could be interpreted as traces of human sacrifice or specific burial ritual. There is no sign of fire or of other destruction, so why the site was abandoned is unknown. Later villagers built a defensive moat following the ditches of the old enclosure.

The Goseck ring is one of the best preserved and extensively investigated of the many similar structures built at around the same time. Traces of the original configuration reveal that the Goseck ring consisted of four concentric circles, a mound, a ditch, and two wooden palisades. The palisades had three sets of gates facing southeast, southwest, and north. At the winter solstice, observers at the center would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest gates.

Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar.