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Atla cup-marked stone

Juuru Parish
Other references to the location
Atla village, 30 m to the North-West of Vanakupja farm's dwelling house, beneath big trees.
lat=59.055331674735, lon=25.003978012357
59° 3' 19" N, 25° 0' 14" E

Dark grey, covered with moss. Length 1,5, width 1 m, height 0,5 m. 2 small cup-marks in the higher central part of the stone: diameter 4 cm, depth 0,5 cm.


Cup-marked stones have borne witness to the history of domesticated agriculture and 302 Found


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settlement in Estonia. Approximately 1,750 cup-marked stones have been found in Estonia and they are mainly located in three counties in northern Estonia: Lääne-Viru, Ida-Viru and Harju. Historical Juuru parish in Harju County is particularly rich in cup-marked stones, with 30 cup-marked stones featured in this list. Cup-marked stones have small cup-marks with a diameter of 3-10 cm and a depth of 0.5-5 cm. A cup-marked stone usually has from 1-10 cup-marks. Nõiakivi (Witch’s stone) in Assaku near Tallinn has the most, with 405 cup-marks. Boulders of all sizes and appearances can be cup-marked stones. The smallest cup-marked stone found thus far could almost fit into a pocket. As a rule, the cup-marks have been carved on to the surface of the stone, and in some cases, on its side. No folklore is generally associated with cup-marked stones and they have been found solely according to their external characteristics, the cup-marks. No archaeological finds were made around cup-marked stones that could be associated with the making of the cup-marks or the use of the cup-marked stones. Scholars associate the making of the cup-marks on the stones with slash and burn agriculture and settlement in the late Iron Age. The cup-marks were probably made 2,000-3,000 years ago. The greatest share of the cup-marked stones is currently located on land under cultivation. The cup-marks could have a religious function, or some practical purpose unknown to us. The suppositions that the cup-marks are related to folk astronomy, a sun cult, honouring ancestors or sacrifices have not yet been proved. The development of research into the cup-marked stones is reflected by the changes in name for the phenomenon over the last century: In the early 20th century they were called ohvrikivid (sacrificial stones), during the Soviet period they were called cult stones, and from the late 20th century they were known as cup-marked stones. A few of the cup-marked stones were used for sacrifices as well. According to a few traditional sources, the cup-marks were made to remember the dead. The cup-marks were also rubbed with sheep’s wool and lanolin for good luck with sheep farming.

Modest in regard to location, size and number of cup-marks.
From the Kose-Purila road, 110 down a dirt road to the rock.
Infrastructure, management, facilities
Parking for cars by the side of the road. From there, a path – wheelchair and pram-accessible – leads on.
Local info
Marker for protected archaeological monument in Estonian
Legal Status
Private land, heritage conservation

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