Kastelli Giant's Church (Finnish: Kastellin jätinkirkko) is a prehistoric stone enclosure. Photograph by Vesa Laulumaa, National Board of Antiquities
Relics and antiquities are protected as evidence of Finland's past
settlement and history. They are the only existing source material for
the prehistoric era. In the cultural landscape they form the oldest
elements that can be dated and, consequently, they provide a starting
point for the examining different aspects of the landscape. Many
prehistoric antiquities are significant sights and educational locations
when they have been restored, maintained and marked with signs.
In practice, planning work means that the National Board of Antiquities
follows the effects of land use plans on antiquities and issues
statements on their protection to land owners, municipalities, planning
bodies and authorities; in addition, the board organises and monitors
archaeological investigated necessitated by protection.
The Antiquities Act
Antiquities are protected in Finland under the Antiquities Act
(295/63). Under the act "fixed antiquities are protected as reminders
of Finland's past settlements and history. Without permission granted
under this act it is prohibited to dig, cover, modify, damage, remove or
physically interfere with antiquities".
The Antiquities Act protects automatically without separate
measures antiquities which are within definition the act and prohibits
action that might endanger the preservation of the relic. Fixed relics
do not have any age limit. The act refers to both prehistoric and
historic objects. The most recent conservation measures concern defence
works from World War II.
The Antiquities Act orders that the planner of public land-use projects
or town plans must examine the effects of the plan on antiquities.
According to the act, the party responsible for a public or a large
private project is required to fund the research work caused by the
If a fixed archaeological relic is found in excavation work, the act
orders that the work is to be discontinued and that the National Board
of Antiquities or the provincial museum is to be informed of the matter.
The aim of regular field inventories and marking the objects on
multi-level plans is that the developer or landowner would not have to
face such difficult situations.
The aim of the Antiquities Act is to ensure that the national
heritage is preserved to be seen and studied by future generations.
Photograph by Jyri Saukkonen.
Antiquities Act (Only in Finnish)