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Kuzova archipelago


     Kuzova archipelago is notable for its unique combination of amazingly beautiful landscapes and numerous ancient sites. About 800 different stone constructions were found there. These ancient sites are the ceremonial complexes of saami people, who appeared in the White sea region 2-2,5 thousand years ago, and the sacred stones – seids, that occupy 2% of the island’s area. The seids and idols found on Bolshoy Nemetsky Kuzov island and Russky Kuzov island have no match neither for their originality, nor for their diversity, nor for their quantitative composition on the vast territory that was occupied by old Saami tribes at the turn of our Millennium. The northern megalithic complexes are ascribed to the old Saami stage, as there are no other versions. 


    It is amazing, that one can find seids in Finland, in Norway, in Sweden, in Britain, in Canada, in Alaska. The similar megalithic constructions can be found in other countries of the world. This can possibly be the proof that now deserted Kuzova archipelago was the part of one and the same civilization. The distinctive feature of the seid is it extreme, unstable placing. The ancient megalith-builders located the stones in such places where the nature itself gave them “force”. It is known that activated seids have acoustic and lighting effect based on resonance and piezoelectric effect of quartzites. Judging by scientific hypothesis, the best period for life of the seid-builders is 7-4 thousand years B.C., this period was notable for warm climate. Afterwards, the degradation of the seid culture and its replacement by labyrinth culture took place.


    The Kuzova complex mostly consists of “medium” seids, but in large amount crowned by “hats”, also there are seids-“columns”. The seid complexes on Kemersky Shkher islands are notable for their interesting features: on Nemetsky Kuzov island there are constructions of different type – seids and stones-“hats”; stones laid out unsystematically, but obviously artificially; “butting stones”, rockfills and small masonries, raised lakes, seid lines, seids-“tables” and together with the sanctuary the settlement of II-III thousand years B.C. were discovered here. Speaking about the phenomena of seid plateaus we cannot skip the system of seid location. They are always situated in spectacular places and are joined in definite systems according to the geology and landscape. 


    The Nemetsky Kuzov island complex, where according to the legend the seids were described as “petrified germans” (historically – the Swedes who worried the Solovetsky monastery not even once), was examined at the end of 1960s by the archaeologist I.M. Moulleau. The seid plateau on the Nemetsky Kuzov island has the size of 350 per 110-160 m. There are about 150-300 ceremonial stones (according to different sources). I.M. Moulleau divided them into three groups:


    1 – “Seids”, stones placed on three-four supports with finials, at the bottom of which there often lied coloured stones, frequently quartz ones – it could possibly be the offerings;


    2 – Stone idols that have some resemblance with human (mainly because of the form of the finial – the “head”;


    3 – Ordinary stones but with finials, sometimes zoomorphic.


    On the plateau (“Bald Mountain”) of the Russky Kuzov island there are also 300 seids; among them there is a rare type of “phallic stones” – menhirs supported by boulders from each side that have their analogies in Finland and among the megaliths of Canadian archipelago. Moreover, the two flag-stone constructions were found on the Russian Kuzov island; they were called the “tombs” but without traces of bones or tools. 


    It was the Kuzova islands from which the research of seid complexes started. 


    Kuzova archipelago is a specially protected area, where the precious natural landscapes, original flora and fauna and unique Neolithic sites are represented. In the sea around Kuzova islands you can meat ringed seals, bearded seals (the largest seal of the arctic waters) and belugas. Certainly, seagulls dominate the seashore. You can also meet ptarmigans, razorbills, auks, eiders and other birds. 


    To preserve the natural and cultural heritage the state landscape reserve was formed here in 1991, and received the status of wetlands of international importance in 1994, in 1993 the protective zones of archaeological sites were marked.


    Source: V. Mizin, “Seid, the stone legend of Lapland”.


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