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Nordic stamps – a passport to mythical places

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The Nordic postal operators' Nordic stamp series has mythical places as its common theme for this year.

On 27 March Finland Post will issue in this series a miniature sheet of two stamps with the subject of the "cliff god" of Astuvansalmi and the amber discovered nearby. Both stamps have a value of €0.70, so the miniature sheet will cost €1.40.

The miniature sheet was designed by Antti Raudaskoski using photos by Eero Siljander and Juhani Gronhagen.

The natural rock cliff shown on the Nordic miniature sheet is in Southern Savo, in Ristiina on the shore of Lake Yovesi. A giant human face can be seen in the rock formations of the cliff and it has probably been some kind of cult site. Stone Age dwellings have been found nearby and it is thought that ancient residents considered the cliff a kind of god or an image of one. Amber carvings have been found on the bottom of the lake in front of the cliff. The ancient object depicted on the second stamp of the miniature sheet has been interpreted as a sacrifice to the god of the cliff.

Underneath the cliff figure of Astuvansalmi are the most abundant rock paintings in the Nordic region. The paintings show elks, boats and human figures, among which are two women – a rarity among rock paintings. The Astuvansalmi cliff paintings are shown on the FDC of the Nordic miniature sheet.

The Mythical Places miniature sheet is the third and final issue in the "Nordic Mythology" stamp series. All the new issues of the Nordic postal operators are now obtainable in the joint Nordic package. The package costs €16.

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