Pulli settlement is the oldest known human settlement in Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating, Pulli was settled around 11,000 years ago. A dog tooth found at the settlement is the first evidence for the existence of the domesticated dog in the territory of Estonia.
In all 1175 different items were excavated at the Pulli settlement, among them tools used by people of the Mesolithic period, most of them made of flint. Many items were arrowheads made of flint. A few items made of bone were found too, such as fishhooks and accessories made of animal claws.
The people who lived at Pulli probably moved there from the south after the ice had melted, moving along the Daugava river in Latvia, then along the Latvian-Estonian coast of the Baltic Sea, and finally to the mouth of the Pärnu river. In 9000 BC, the Pulli settlement was located exactly where the Pärnu river flows into the Baltic sea, but today it is about 14-16 kilometers upstream from the sea.
Through almost the entire Stone Age, the Estonian area is clearly discernible as an original technocomplex, in which quartz dominates as the material for small tools produced by a splitting technique. The only exception is the Pulli site with its extensive use of imported flint.
The Pulli settlement was discovered in 1967 during excavation of sand from the right bank of the River Pärnu. Archaeological excavations were carried out in 1968-73 and 1975-76 by the Estonian archaeologist L. Jaanits.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.