Sartenada's photo blog / Blog de foto de Sartenada

June 3, 2011

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

In English:

The Rock paintings of Astuvansalmi

It was in the middle of September in 2008 when I visited those rock paintings of Astuvansalmi in Ristiina. Ristiina can be reached from Helsinki in two and half hours. Well, actually one has to drive about 20 kilometers / 12.4 miles more to the east from Ristiina to find them. From the parking lot there is about three kilometer’s / 1.9 mile’s walk to the paintings thru the woods.

Path is passing through the woods surrounded by small lakes with small islands, up and down steep hills having rocks on both side of the path and all this among pines. On the path there are millions of tree roots and small rocks. Anyway it is easy to go to the rock paintings. From me it took one hour and fourteen minutes to visit it including stops for photographing.

On the way there is huge piece of rock which is officially called “Glacial erratic” which has been relocated by glacial ice. This can be seen in my last photo.

Age of those rock paintings varies 3800-2200 BC. The oldest are nearly 6000 years old and that means that they are from Stone Age. Normally rock paintings have been found in caves, but these are painted on rocks being in the open air. They are protected by bending huge rock over them. This made it possible to last hard winters, ice, snow, sunshine and rain thru thousand years.

When You are looking those paintings, You have to be aware that they are no modern Graffiti, but painted many thousand years ago by local artists. Also they are situated on the rock very high. That is above lake level up to eight meters / 26 feet. This means that the level of water on nearby lake has been on much more higher level anciently than it is now. This is very understandable if we remember that the ice has melted into water.

There are about 80 paintings and mainly they present humans, elks, fish, and boats etc. They are not easy to see, because they are original and not repainted. Stare my photos and then You can perceive them or better, if You are looking them a little bit far away from the screen as You usually do. I added some red to my photos that one could see them better.

En español:

Las pinturas rupestres de Astuvansalmi.

Estuvo en medio de septiembre cuando visité ésas pinturas rupestres de Astuvansalmi en Ristiina. Realmente uno tiene que conducir acerca de 20 kilómetros al este desde Ristiina para encontrarlas. Desde el estacionamiento hay acerca de tres kilómetros andar a las pinturas.

El sendero pasa por el bosque rodeado por pequeños lagos con pequeñas isletas, arriba y abajo colinas. En el sendero hay millones de raízes de árboles y pequeñas piedras. De todos modos es fácil de caminarr a las pinturas rupestres. De mí tomé una hora y catorce minutos de visitarlas incluye las paradas para sacar fotos.

Hay por el camino un pedazo inmenso de piedra (una foto) que ha sido trasladada por hielo glacial.

La edad de ésas pinturas rupestres varían entre 3800-2200 AC. Así que la más vieja tiene casi de 6000 años y eso significa que ellos son de la edad de piedra. Normalmente pinturas rupestres son encontradas en cuevas, pero éstos son pintados en piedras. ¿Cómo es posible que ellas todavía estén allí para ser visto? Bien, el secreto es roca arquedado encima de ellas que protege esas pinturas durante invierno, hielo y contra la lluvia.

Cuándo Usted mira esas pinturas, Usted tiene está entendido que ellas no son Grafitis pero pinturas que hace miles años por artistas locales. También ellos se hallan en la piedra muy alto. Eso está encima del nivel de lago hasta ocho (8) metros. Esto significa que el nivel de agua en el lago cercano ha estado en el nivel mucho más alto que es hoy.

Hay acerca de 80 pinturas y principalmente ellas presentan humanos , alces, pescaa, y barcos etcétera.. Ellas no son fáciles de ser visto, porque ellas son originales, no repintadas. Mire fijamente mis fotos y entonces Usted las puede percibir o mejor si Usted miralas un poquito más lejos de la pantalla como Usted hace normalmente.

En français:

Les peintures rupestres de Astuvansalmi

Il était au milieu de Septembre en 2008, lorsque je visitais les peintures rupestres de Astuvansalmi dans Ristiina. Ristiina peut être atteint de Helsinki en deux heures et demie. Eh bien, effectivement il faut rouler environ 20 km / 12.4 miles plus à l’est de Ristiina pour les trouver. Depuis le parking on se trouve à environ trois kilomètres de / 1,9 mile de peintures à travers les bois.

Le sentier passe par les bois entouré de petits lacs de petites îles, de haut en bas, traversant les pentes abruptes, des roches ayant des deux côtés de la voie et tout cela au milieu des pins. Sur le chemin il ya des millions de racines d’arbres et de petites roches. Quoi qu’il en soit, il est facile d’aller à des peintures rupestres. Il m’a fallu une heure et quatorze minutes de visite, il y compris les arrêts pour photographier.

Sur la route il ya un énorme morceau de rock qui s’appelle officiellement ” bloc erratique” qui a été déplacé par les glaciers. Cela peut être vu dans ma dernière photo.

Âge de ces peintures rupestres varie entre 3800-2200 BC. Les plus anciens sont presque de 6000 ans, ce qui signifie qu’ils sont de l’âge de pierre. Normalement peintures rupestres ont été découverts dans les grottes, mais ceux-ci sont peints sur les roches étant à l’air libre. Ils sont protégés par un énorme rocher courbé sur eux. Cela les a protégé pendant hivers durs, contre la glace, la neige, le soleil et la pluie à travers mille ans.

Quand on regarde ces peintures, vous devez être conscients qu’ils ne sont pas modernes Graffiti, mais peint il ya de mille ans par des artistes locaux. En outre, ils sont situés sur le rocher très élevé. C’est au-dessus du niveau du lac jusqu’à huit mètres / 26 pieds. Cela signifie que le niveau d’eau sur le lac à proximité a été à le niveau supérieur jadis que aujourd’hui. Cela est très compréhensible si nous nous rappelons que glace de glacier a fondu dans l’eau.

Il ya environ 80 peintures et surtout ils présentent les êtres humains, des élans, des poissons et des bateaux etc .Ils ne sont pas faciles à voir, parce qu’ils sont originaux et n’ont pas été repeints. Badaydez mes photos et puis vous pouvez les apercevoir ou mieux, si vous les regardez un peu loin de l’écran comme vous le faites habituellement. J’ai ajouté un peu de rouge à mes photos que l’on pouvait mieux les voir.

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

Rock paintings / Pinturas rupestres / Peintures rupestres

You might be interested to see my post:

Cruise to Rock paintings

Giant’s potholes / Marmitas de gigante / Marmites du diable

37 Comments »

  1. I would love to visit that site and study the paintings. I see some similarities to some paintings that are not far from here; the same overhanging rock structure, even what appears to be the same shade of red paint! I’m sure that the ones there are much better protected. I also enjoyed the photos of the woods and lake. What beautiful scenery!

    Comment by montucky — June 3, 2011 @ 07:02 | Reply

    • Hi Montucky.

      I enjoyed reading Your comment, thank You. All this is very interesting. Many times I have been thinking that now in our modern days, how we could leave some signs for future generations. Well, not only how, but what to show. That is “big question” in my mind when seeing these.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by sartenada — June 3, 2011 @ 07:10 | Reply

      • So much has changed since those paintings were done. They simply recorded the things of most importance to them, I think; very basic things. If we were to do the same thing, I wonder how much agreement there would be on deciding what are the important and basic things today.

        Comment by montucky — June 3, 2011 @ 07:38 | Reply

      • Your words hit the heart of the matter.

        Comment by sartenada — June 3, 2011 @ 08:14 | Reply

  2. Lovely photos Sartenada. Living here in the desert Southwest, we have many petroglyphs but not usually with such strong color variations. You live in a beautiful country.

    Comment by Tammy McLeod — June 3, 2011 @ 15:21 | Reply

    • Hello Tammy.

      This is the most known and easiest to access this site. I admire rock paintings and this was the second time when I visit there. Thank You for Your visit and comment.

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by sartenada — June 3, 2011 @ 15:39 | Reply

  3. This is so very interesting. I’ve seen rock paintings out west in this country, but those were far from water. I wonder if the artists who created your paintings were in boats when they did the painting. Thanks for sharing these with us. The hike to the paintings was through some beautiful scenery.

    Comment by seniorhiker — June 3, 2011 @ 15:53 | Reply

    • Hi George.

      Maybe from boats, although the level of the nearby lake was much higher at those days, but who knows it finally? I am so glad that You liked also the scenery on my way to these rock paintings. Thank You for Your visit and comment.

      Happy Friday to You.

      Comment by sartenada — June 3, 2011 @ 15:59 | Reply

  4. That forest looks so peaceful and pretty…I’m very glad you made the hike so that we can see the pictures…in Australia we have Aboriginal cave paintings but I’m afraid I’ve only seen them in books.
    Have a happy weekend.

    Comment by convictstock — June 4, 2011 @ 00:51 | Reply

    • Hello Convictstock.

      Thank You. Our forests are peaceful really. One can walk in them without any fear and with it I mean no fear of bears and wolfs. To get lost is another thing, but nowadays newest versions of mobile phones help with maps and compass. To get lost in the wilderness is very rare, because there are many roads and paths everywhere. If one is lost in our forests and there is no sun, then it is easy to get compass direction without compass is to look ants’ nest. Ants’ nests are always pointing to the South beside of trees.

      This was one example to get compass directions. There are others like:

      Biggest branches are on South side of trees.
      North sides of trees are full with more bryophyte.
      Old man’s beard (Usnea) is found more is growing more on North side of trees.
      Bark is thinner on South side of tree trunks.

      Happy Saturday!

      Comment by sartenada — June 4, 2011 @ 07:50 | Reply

  5. That is so amazing that the paintings have been so well preserved for thousands of years. What a national treasure you have!

    Comment by kateri — June 4, 2011 @ 05:59 | Reply

    • Hi Kateri.

      I am humble in front of your words. Thank You.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by sartenada — June 4, 2011 @ 08:09 | Reply

  6. Very impressive to think these paintings are so old and still in excellent condition ! A very interesting series again Matti ! Thanks for sharing… Have a lovely weekend🙂

    Comment by Tamara — June 4, 2011 @ 10:02 | Reply

    • Bonjour Tamara.

      I am so glad that You found these interesting. When seeing them in live, they stop human being to think our short “trek” on our globe.

      Bon fin de semaine á toi aussi.

      Comment by sartenada — June 4, 2011 @ 11:58 | Reply

  7. I love all the possibilities of the abstract that your photos, this post, suggest, Sartenada. Thank you for sharing these.

    Comment by lesliepaints — June 4, 2011 @ 16:45 | Reply

    • Hello Leslie.

      Thank You. I appreciate Your comment very much.

      Comment by sartenada — June 5, 2011 @ 09:04 | Reply

  8. Really interesting place and great images. Thank you for sharing. It must be worth the 3km walk!

    Comment by tudorbarlow — June 4, 2011 @ 18:21 | Reply

    • Hello Tudorbarlow.

      Well, three kilometer’s walk one way and of course back in so beautiful forest is a pure pleasure. I enjoy walking the nature. To have pure air after car driving makes good for one. Thank You commenting.

      Comment by sartenada — June 5, 2011 @ 09:09 | Reply

  9. A beautiful place – with very interesting rock-art. I did not know, that you had this kind of so old rock-art in Finland. Is it found many places – or only here? In Australia I saw old rock-art made by the Aboroginals. I will show this later this year in my blog🙂

    Comment by Truels — June 5, 2011 @ 00:05 | Reply

    • Hi Truels.

      Thank You for Your visit and comment. I tried to find out how many places there are where one could admire rock paintings and in one list there were 118. This one which I presented is very easy to reach. Many are in wilderness or one must have boat to get there.

      There are rock paintings found all around our globe, I think, but in our case one must think that these are outside in the open air, they have resisted rains, snow, ice and sun shine. Rock paintings in cave for example are protected from snow, ice and rains. Anyway I am happy that also here in the North we have them and also tourists can visit these places.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by sartenada — June 5, 2011 @ 09:23 | Reply

  10. I would love to go to that place. It looks very,very interesting. I would like to know if there is some meaning to each painting or was it just people having fun.

    Comment by Neal — June 5, 2011 @ 13:26 | Reply

    • Hi Neal.

      I guess it same they as Montucky said it earlier, that they presented those things which were important from them in their daily life. Of course in every culture there are so called “mockers”, but maybe they had enough to do to get their daily food as we have nowadays to get our daily taxes to be paid.🙂

      Thank You for Your comment which caused again to me something to think.

      Comment by sartenada — June 6, 2011 @ 08:57 | Reply

  11. Wow, this is truly amazing!
    The oldest one is nearly 6,000 years old!
    It’s good that most of them are beautiful preserved until today.
    I still can see elks, men and fish.
    The main colour used was red.
    I wonder if that area is also rich with that mineral used to make the red painting.

    Comment by London Caller — June 6, 2011 @ 00:07 | Reply

    • Hello London Caller.

      Thank You. Well, I do not know if the area is rich with that mineral used to make the red painting. Anyway if we comparing those top paints we have in use in our modern society, I think that our best paints do not stand even one thousand year. There is one thing more which I have not been thinking is that nowadays our climate change has great influence to our materiel we are using and that is not in positive way.

      Comment by sartenada — June 6, 2011 @ 09:07 | Reply

  12. Firstly, this is a beautiful place and it must be very pleasant to walk through the woods while discovering these rock paintings..I can still clearly see especially the men painting..thanks very much for sharing the story and wonderful photographs to accompany!
    Yet another great series, Matti! Have a nice day.

    Comment by Anne — June 6, 2011 @ 11:39 | Reply

    • Hi Anne.

      Thank You so much commenting. Yes, it is lovely place. Maybe You some day discover it Yourself some day, because with direct Finnair flight from Singapore the trip is “nothing”.

      Happy Monday to You also.

      Comment by sartenada — June 6, 2011 @ 11:50 | Reply

  13. I feel like I have been on a magical journey through your forest and shown great treasures. Your photographs make me feel as though I am really there. Thank you! Janet

    Comment by harpingjanet — June 6, 2011 @ 19:02 | Reply

    • Hi Janet.

      Oh, I am mute when reading Your comment. Thank You.

      Comment by sartenada — June 7, 2011 @ 13:42 | Reply

  14. Oh wow, what a wonderful trail and rock paintings! I would thoroughly enjoy something like this, the hike, and the beautiful countryside. Enjoyed the photo series and getting a view of something I haven’t seen before.🙂

    Comment by Anna — June 7, 2011 @ 02:46 | Reply

    • Hello Anna.

      Thank You very much leaving so nice comment.

      Happy Tuesday!

      Comment by sartenada — June 7, 2011 @ 13:44 | Reply

  15. I have been busy and missed this post completely! What an amazing place. I love to hike and find places of interest and this would be one of them. To find something that peole did from the past is really exciting. I have visited caves with paintings but I have never seen paintings on rocks like these. Thank you so much for showing us this unique place.

    Comment by jackiequeen — June 13, 2011 @ 18:35 | Reply

    • Hello Jackie.

      Well, maybe this is something reallywhen thinking that paintings in the open air are yet in quite good condition. I have been visiting in some caves, but not in those in which are paintings.

      Thank You. I am so glad that You liked my post.

      Comment by sartenada — June 14, 2011 @ 06:20 | Reply

  16. Amazing how these paintings survive for thousands of years in the open air, exposed to the elements. We have nothing like this in the UK so thanks for sharing

    Comment by surfnslide — November 3, 2012 @ 13:58 | Reply

    • Andy,

      we have few places where these are yet visible, but this one is the biggest. It is also possible to reach it by a bot. Thank You for Your comment.

      Comment by Sartenada — November 3, 2012 @ 14:19 | Reply

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  18. Many thanks for your links and amazing pictures and information about these rockpaintings at lake Saimaa, where we have also been on an excursion. Have a nice Sunday. Best regards Martina

    Comment by Martina Ramsauer — February 2, 2014 @ 11:53 | Reply

    • Hello Martina.

      We just came from the walk on the ice of Lake Saimaa. Where did You make the excursion?

      Here is how the lake Saimaa was last winter during our walking on it:

      Walking on frozen lake.

      Happy Sunday to You and Yours.

      Comment by Sartenada — February 2, 2014 @ 11:58 | Reply


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