About twelve thousand years ago, Finland (the area inhabited by Finns, Karelians and Lapps, between Norway and Lake Onega) was almost totally buried under a continental ice sheet, just as Greenland is today.Gradually, the ice sheet melted, (early global warming) and its southern margin retreated farther and farther north.The established view was that these earliest known inhabitants of Finland had arrived mostly by land from eastern Europe.They came in from central Europe as well when Europeans became sailors and they also easily followed the coastline to Finland.
However, as work continues, new finds shed a different light on prehistory of Finland.
From those coastal regions of the Arctic Ocean, north of the present national boundary of Finland, have come the most ancient relics of human culture ever discovered by Finnish archaeologists. It was found in 1914 in Korpilahti swamp at Antrea, Karelia.
(not far from the writer's ancestral home) At the bottom of the picture are bark floats; at the top, rock weights. Nettle has been used for thousands of years, and for many applications including medicine.
There is no doubt that "Finland" the area between Lake Onega and Norway has been inhabited for thousands of years, yet history books often make the mistake of stating that the Finns came to Finland sometime in the first millennium.
Certainly there were Finns who arrived in "first centuries AD" but they did not fill a vacuum when they got there.
"Ancestors of present-day Finns were hunters, trappers, agriculturists who came to Finland by way of the Baltic regions during the first centuries AD, spreading slowly from south and west to east and north.