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The Mulli Abode

Sami Raninen
Ann-Christin Antell


he settlement of Mulli was researched in its entirety in 1994-97 by a team of students from the University of Turku. The settlement was part of the Ihala hamlet. The excavations first revealed a stone base of a 18th century building, under which remainders of log houses were found. The wooden remainders of the buildings could be dated with the aid of radiocarbon methods approximately to the years 980-1220 A.D. The wooden remainders of Mulli settlement have been well-preserved, considering the conditions of the clayey Finnish soil.

The Mulli settlement resided near the coast. There had been a farm house consisting of several buildings. The seeds finds indicate that wheat, barley, oats and rye were cultivated. The livestock consisted of horses, swine, cattle, hen, sheep and goats. According to the bone finds, elk-hunting and fowling had given a considerable addition to the dining-table. A dog may have run in the farmyard too. The find of seeds of hop seem to indicate that beer may have been brewed at Mulli.

During the winters, the inhabitants may have hunted fur animals, which had been a significant means of trade exchange. (Squirrel, lynx, bear, common otter and seal had been the most important fur animals.)

In the excavations, some of the tools of the inhabitants of Mulli were found. Among others, these consisted of ceramics, a working ax, knives, shears, bone needles, spindle weight, loom weights for a vertical loom, whetstones, steel and grindstones. Jewellery is rarely found in this type of settlement, as jewellery was luxury, used in primarily in ritual connected to burials, and not during everyday life. In Mulli, melted glass pearls, a bronze brooch shaped like horseshoe and a fragment of a bronze bracelet were found. The most extraordinary find, however, was a lead-bronze ingot, weighing more than 16 kg; nothing like this is known in Finland.


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