Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ancient trade route along Gulf of Finland and Dnieper

Date of Issue: September 17, 2003
Scott #: 465
Designer: Jaan Saar, Oksana Ternavskaja
Quantity Issued: 396,000

This is a set of two stamps (I got only one shown above) and also a joint issue with Ukraine.

There was a busy transcontinental waterway running through Eastern Europe from the 9th to the 12th century. Probably established in 825–39, the trade route served as a direct link between Scandinavia and Byzantium.

After crossing the Baltic and sailing up the Gulf of Finland down Estonian shores, the waterway ran from the mouth of the Neva via Lake Ladoga, up the Lovat, by overland portage to the Dvina and then to the Dnieper and further across the Black Sea to Constantinople.

The waterway played an important cultural role, that of establishing a contact between the Roman-Byzantine civilization and the civilization of Scandinavian, Baltic, Finnish and Slavic peoples springing up in Northern Europe and in the interior of Eastern Europe.

The design of the stamp is based on a 12th century English miniature, Arrival of Scandinavian Seamen, although in changed colors and a coin of Danish King Svend Estridsen.

Source: scott catalogue, Eesti Post

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