The history of Finland begins around 9,000 BC during the end of the last glacial period. Stone Age cultures were Kunda, Comb Ceramic, Corded Ware, Kiukainen, and Pöljä cultures. The Finnish Bronze Age started in approximately 1,500 BC and the Iron Age started in 500 BC and lasted until 1,300 AD. Finnish Iron Age cultures can be separated into Finnish proper, Tavastian, and Karelian cultures. The earliest written sources mentioning Finland start to appear from the 12th century onwards when the Catholic Church started to gain a foothold in Southwest Finland.