«Rock Art Bridge» Project

International Russian-Finnish project funded by the Karelia ENPI CBC Program.

Stone age art galleries (objects of monumental rock art) created by our ancestors about 5000–7000 years ago are still of great interest both to scientists and history lovers.

It may be said that we can see a genuine stone chronicle that illustrates the view of the world, religious faiths and various forms of worship of ancient man.

Rock art strikes us by the diversity, artistic expression and enigmatic ancient images and helps us to feel the spirit of the remote past.

There is an urgent need for restoration of such monuments as they are valuable objects of cultural heritage and such an activity is considered to be part of the contemporary cultural development.

The White Sea region petroglyphs as well as the Värikallio neolithic rupestrian drawings are unique examples of the Northern European primitive art. These monuments might have been created by common Finno-Ugric ancestors of contemporary Karelian and Finnish people.

The project is focused on the development of a certain “Rock Art Bridge” that will combine ancient Finnish and Russian monuments.

The Project will contribute to establishing a common information space based on rock art and strengthening cross-border cooperation in the field of cultural tourism between The Republic of Karelia and Finland.

The «Rock Art Bridge» Project will give both experts and ordinary people some additional opportunities to study the primitive art monuments as well as it will draw the attention of the authorities to the issues of their preservation and usage.

Project Activities

Within the framework of the project realized from 16.02.2013 to 31.12.2014 the following activities are to be carried out:

  • Site improvements in Zalavruga petroglyphs area (toilets, benches, recreation areas, signs, hoardings etc.);
  • Working out of design specifications and estimates for the major repairs of the “Besovy Sledky” pavilion;
  • Arrangement of a virtual the primitive rock art museum;
  • Arrangement of an international children’s summer archaeology camp;
  • Holding of The Primitive Art festival;
  • Learning Norwegian experience in the field of the petroglyphs’ preservation and usage;
  • Arrangement of two rock art travelling displays and a permanent rock art display;
  • Study trips for Finnish school students to see Varikallio neolithic rupestrian drawings;
  • Archeological excavations in Zalavruga area and carrying-out of some additional research on Finnish neolithic rupestrian drawings;
  • Photofixation of the monuments and aerial photography of the petroglyphs;
  • Development of study school programs on the rock art.

Project Partners:

  • “Karelika” LTD  , Russia, karelika.ru
  • Municipal administration of Belomorsk region, Russia
  • “Belomorye” LTD, Russia
  • State Institution ”Institute of Language, Literature and History, Karelian Research Centre, RAS”
  • Suomussalmen kunta, Finland
  • Suomussalmen  lukio, Finland 

Project Beneficiaries:

  • Belomorian Regional Museum of Local Lore Belomorian Petroglyphs
    Address: 186500, Republic of Karelia, Belomorsk, Oktyabr'skaya  str.,5-A
    Phone number: +7 814-37  5-26-05;
  • Hossa Nature Center
    Address: Jatkonsalmentie 6
    89920 Ruhtinansalmi (Suomussalmi)
    Phone number: +358 40-751-7221