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Kunnati Stone

Location
State:
Estonia
Region:
Muhu Parish
County:
Saare
Parish:
Muhu
Other references to the location
Aljava village. 960 m along the soil road to the South-East from the Nurme-Aljava gravel road, from there 30 m to the East on an open field.
Coordinates
lat=58.55529732506, lon=23.202622433855
58° 33' 19" N, 23° 12' 9" E
Description

Reddish, 2,5 m long, 2,3 m wide, 0,85 m high. 6 cup-marks, diameter 4-8 cm, depth 1-2 cm.

Narrative

Sacrificial stone and

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cup-marked stone. Local residents and tourists leave offerings of coins and metal objects even today. Cup-marked stones have borne witness to the history of domesticated agriculture and 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.

Attraction
Attractive stone with a view of the sea.
Availability
990 km by foot or bicycle along dirt road and across pastureland.
Infrastructure, management, facilities
Bench, waste receptacle
Local info
Information board, signposts
Capacity
up to 40
Publicity
Known
Legal Status
Private land, heritage conservation

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