Although the Repovesi area may look like wilderness to a modern-day person, humans have been using forests and waterways as transport routes, a source of goods and a place of residence for thousands of years. Humans are thought to have arrived in the Repovesi area after the Ice Age, approximately 10,500 years ago. At that time, the area had already assumed its present appearance after the ice had retreated and the land mass began rising from the water. The waterways were important travel routes in prehistoric times, and the ridges of Salpausselkä also served as a thoroughfare for humans.
In the Stone Age, the majestic, fragmented Repovesi area mainly served as a place to obtain resources for use elsewhere. The limited finds - mainly flakes of quartz - and the remains of temporary campsites found in the area, suggest the activities of fishing parties coming into the area from elsewhere. Permanent residential camps have been found outside the park area.
Ancestors camped in the same places in Repovesi as people do today. Quartz flakes found on the shore of Lake Katajajärvi, near the current campfire site, are remnants from prehistoric times. Although a large number of rock paintings have been found at Valkela, there are only two such finds in Repovesi: Olhaval and “Löppönen cave” just adjacent to the national park. Painted approximately 4,000-6,000 years ago, the rock paintings are thought to be associated with the belief system of the hunting culture.
Pollen particles preserved in the bottom layers of Lake Katajajärvi indicate changes in vegetation. In this wilderness area, the first signs of agriculture were found as early as 660 - 190 BC.
For more information on the cultural history of Repovesi, read the book Sama maisema, eri kulkijat (in Finnish - julkaisut.metsa.fi, Metsähallitus 2007)
Nearby attractions: Discover wonders of nature
Coordinates (WGS84): P 61.16542, I 26.84230