Learn about the archaeological sites of Saaremaa
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From this page you can find articles, research and books written about the history of Saaremaa
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The first aDNA results of Saaremaa's 13th-14th century burials are here!
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Foundation Osiliana scientifically researches archaeological and historical sites and artefacts of prehistorical and medieval Saaremaa. In addition to Saaremaa, Muhu and other surrounding smaller islands (e.g., Vilsandi, Abruka) are researched.


For research, a Database of Artefacts of Saaremaa will be created that will give an overview of the archaeological artefacts, different types of finds, local and imported material culture.

Arm-ring from the cemetery of Karja

Tornimägi was until 19th century known in Estonian as Hill-Fort (“Linnamägi”), because of its peculiar landscape. However,  archaeological excavations have shown that there was a Viking-Age harbor site!


Lepna mortuary house was a cult building, which was used for collective sacred rituals for the deceased. Besides its particular function, it also stands out with its rich silver artefacts from the 5th-6th centuries of the Great Migration that is otherwise a rather poor era.

Kaali lake and the surrounding cultural landscape have traces of human activity already from the Bronze Age. There are many mythical stories about the meteor crater, but what do we know by the archaeological excavations?

The article Excavations at the Tuiu iron-smelting site, Saaremaa gives an in-depth overview of an iron-smelting site situated in North Saaremaa that was first used already in the 8th century but saw its most intense use during the period from 12th to 14th centuries.

Monography At the Crossroads of Space and Time. Graves, Changing Society and Ideology on Saaremaa (Ösel), 9th–13th centuries AD dives into the centuries of the end of prehistorical and early medieval period of Saaremaa and Muhu. It is mainly based on the burials and the artefacts, which are analyzed in the international context with the rest of the archaeological material and written sources.

Bettany Hughes: Treasures of the World

Gold ring from Ure, Saaremaa. For more information, look: here.


Photos are from: here.

We are very glad to have been part of the filming the third season of the documentary series “Treasures of the World” led by historian Bettany Hughes. Come and discover in the second episode the treasures found from Saaremaa together with us! 

Exploring places rich with amazing civilisations, unfolding excavations and startling new discoveries, the third season of Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World returns to Channel 4 on the 6th April at 7pm.  

At a time when the world feels more fractured than ever, Bettany and her production team and their network of international archaeologists are unswerving in their commitment making films that deepen our understanding of the human experience and evidence the joined-up nature of global history from all points of the compass.  

Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World tells the stories of extraordinary people who’ve changed the destiny of humankind and archaeological wonders that shape the story of the world. Bettany travels to places where a mosaic of cultures generates a dynamic history and where the past lives on in the present. 

In this third season of Treasures of the World, Bettany visits the Estonian enclave where women rule, experiences extraordinary ancient traditions still practiced by the Muslim Pomaks in Bulgaria and discovers the Amazon warrior graves in Azerbaijan which are redrawing the boundaries between myth and history.  Across Albania, Georgia and the Eastern Mediterranean she discovers remote communities, fresh archaeological digs and surprising untold stories.  

Sandstone Global has put together an award-winning team of filmmakers and creatives to produce an epic, cinematic journey showcasing the world’s most stunning and significant historical sites. An immersive, joyful, once in a lifetime journey to the heart of the human story.
Source: here.
The episodes on Channel 4 website are: here.

Source: here.


All the local and expatriate people of Saaremaa


parties interested in the history of Saaremaa

Our partners

All the archaeological artefacts that are either gained through the operation of SA Osiliana or given to SA Osiliana, will be conservated and organized by the expenditure of SA Osiliana, and artefacts will be transferred to the Saaremaa Museum.


Collected information and written reports are also transmitted by SA Osiliana to the National Heritage Board. In addition to the National Heritage Board, the reports will also be transmitted to the archive of Tallinn University’s archaeological research collection and the archive of Saaremaa Museum.


The artefacts registered by the SA Osiliana will be transferred to the National Heritage Board for heritage protection.



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