The ancient stone tombs found at Rebala burial ground (also known as Jõelähtme) hold the distinction of being the oldest stone caskets in Estonia. Situated in Harju County, to the east of Tallinn, these tombs date back to the late Bronze Age, specifically the 8th-7th centuries B.C. Notably, they share similarities with the more recent stone chests discovered at the Trullhalsar burial ground on Gotland.
These stone chests typically take the form of circular stone settings, standing at a height of 20 to 30 centimeters, meticulously constructed with dry-laid stone tiles. Some stone circles have boulders serving as edging or filling. Many of these structures include a central brick stone box designed to accommodate the size of a human body. Collectively, these complexes represent the easternmost expression of the Nordic bronze culture.
Archaeological excavations led by Ants Kraut occurred between 1982 and 1984, coinciding with the construction of a country road, which led to the discovery of 36 stone tombs. As part of this process, the examined graves were relocated near the new road.
The area encompassing Maardu Lake, known as the Rebala monument reserve (Estonian: Rebala muinsuskaitseala), was established in 1987 and spans approximately 74 square kilometers. It contains over 300 archaeological remains, predominantly from the younger Stone Age. This reserve holds immense significance and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Baltic States.