Near Põlva there is Rosma site of an ancient fortified stronghold. In the second half of the first millennium there was a wooden stronghold which was deserted at the beginning of the second millennium. At that time Rosma was one of the biggest and most strongly reinforced strongholds in southern Estonia. Rosma used to be the political administration centre of the area in the Võhandu and Ahja river-basin and a trading centre.
In the areas of the Ahja and Võhandu river-basin there a lot of small strongholds from the second half of the first millennium have been found
( Kauksi, Võuküla, Varbuse, Lääniste, Naha ). The strongholds were burnt down, destroyed or deserted in the second millennium. Those strongholds used to be the homes of the local aristocrats whose field of activity was mediation trade.
They probably traded with Livonians who lived at the River Koiva and the commodity exchange also took place with Pihkva and Novgorod. At that time the amounts of goods were small and the commodity ways ran along rivers and shores.
The main articles of commerce were skins ( squirrel, beaver ) and beeswax. Some of the strongholds were called “skin strongholds”. As life was often dangerous and rather short at that time, a lot of feasts were often organized in a way as if they were the last …