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Similar threats appeared in the east, where Russian principalities were expanding westward.

In 1030 Yaroslav the Wise defeated Estonians and established a fort in modern day Tartu; this foothold lasted until an Estonian tribe, the Sosols, destroyed it in 1061, followed by their raid on Pskov.

Following the loss of its de facto independence, a government in exile was formed.

In 1988, during the Singing Revolution, the Estonian Supreme Soviet issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in defiance of Soviet rule, and independence was restored on 20 August 1991.

In the early centuries AD, political and administrative subdivisions began to emerge in Estonia.

Two larger subdivisions appeared: the parish (Estonian: kihelkond) and the county (Estonian: maakond), which consisted of multiple parishes.

According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago.

The earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to the Kunda culture, named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia.

Northern-Estonia became the Danish Duchy of Estonia, while the rest was divided between the Sword Brothers and prince-bishoprics of Dorpat and Ösel–Wiek.

A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed, with external threats appearing from different directions.

Several Scandinavian sagas referred to major confrontations with Estonians, notably when Estonians defeated and killed the Swedish king Ingvar.

At that time the country was covered with forests, and people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water.

Subsistence activities consisted of hunting, gathering and fishing.

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