русский | english
History of the Kola Land
History » History of Kola Land » The Kola Land in ancient times

The Kola Land in ancient times

The early history of the Kola Peninsula, like those of the North of Europe, is one of migrating peoples. After the glacier's digression, about 8 thousand years ago, here formed conditions necessary for people life. Warm current Gulf Stream, warming northern and western coasts of Europe, changed the climate there. Th other flora and fauna appeared on the Kola Peninsula.

Наскальная живопись

But the conditions of the Far North were quite severe and needed constant work. Nobody knows the exact date of the first stage of inhabiting the Kola Peninsula. Hunters and fishers Came from the South settled nearby debouchments and small creeks. The main trade tools were bows, spears and harpoons. They could partitioned off rivers and catch fish by special fish traps, made of twigs or thin pine roots.

In the IV - III centuries BC new inhabitants came (they were close to Volga tribes ethnically). These people settled nearby banks of rivers and lakes of interior part of the Kola Peninsula. Newcomers used boats and nets, bone angles and modernized harpoons in their trade. They hunted for seal, deer and elks.

At the end of the II and in the beginning of the I century B.C. climate changed and became more warm and arid. Deciduous trees covered the Kola Peninsula. At this time there came tribes of asbestos ceramics, belonging to Finno-Ugric group.

As a result of mixture of newcomers and old inhabitants appeared new people, who were called ancient Saami. Norwegian people called them 'Terfinns" (by ancient name of the Kola Peninsula "Ter'" or "Tre").

Saami occupied the biggest part of the territory of the peninsula.

The first written documents about Saami came to us from Norwegian seaman of the IX century: "All this country is empty and only in some places terfinns live, who hunting and fishing".

The most profitable trade of these people was fishing. Saami had kins; they were pagans and had their own gods, seids.

In the XII-XIX the inhabitants of Novgorod land came to the Far North. The chronicle tells that Uleb reached the White Sea in 1032. Novgorod people were interested in furs, which was in great demand at the market. Besides that they were also interested in fat of mammals and tusks.


Primitive trade was quite profitable. Novgorod officials came then, they laid levy for Saami: 5 squirrel skins per year from every hunter. The first evidence of levy relations between Saami and people of Novgorod can be found in chronicles of 1216. But Norwegian people (or "murmans", as they were called) interfered with a right for the Kola Land. In 1251 agreement was made, determining the order and volume of levy.

But the break of this agreement took place and some wars followed. In 1419 about 500 of "murmans" by vessels attacked the graveyard nearby Varzuga and directed right to Dvina, but Pomors took them to flight.

Finally, Great Novgorod defended its possessions.

In the middle of the XV the first Russian settlements were formed on the Tersk coast: Umba and Varzuga.

Russian settlers (Pomors) were more progressive then Saami in the field of production and ordinary life. They brought more complicated system of social relation. It could nit influence the development of Saami society. Due to goods exchange metal goods, materials, trade equipment appeared in the life of Saami. As a result of communication between Pomors and Saami some religious conceptions of Saami changed, weakened and disappeared tribal system.

It was very important stage in the development of the Kola Land.


© 2004 ITC MSTU | About project For contacts   info@murman.ru