The permament settlement here originates from the Bronze Age, about 3,000 years ago. According to the latest research Estonian langugae arrived this area at about the same time. Numerous settlements and burial sites are known from this and later periods that have been thoroughly researched. Several of these – Kõmsi, Kaseküla, Poanse etc – can also be visited. Many of today’s villages follow an ancient settlement pattern. As society developed, the population increased and the scope for action narrowed.
For increasing power struggles in the middle of the first millennium strongholds with stronger fortifications were needed. Scandinavian looting expeditions could also have reached here. The area of influence of the strongholds usually extended to a distance of 3-4 km. During the war, only a part of the people could hide in the stronghold, probably nobles and their staff. By the time of the invasion of the German Crusaders in the 13th century, many ancient fortresses had already been abondoned. The most important fortresse in the area were Lihula, Soontagana and Linnuse (Vatla), each for the protection of its ancient parish.
The Lihula stronghold was located on the site of a later German fortress. There was another defensive structure near Lihula – Lihuntsi stronghold. However, the defensive wall discovered in Salevere Salumägi could be built to protect the possessions of a local nobleman.