Araiši – Latgalians settlement


   The archaeological heritage site in Araiši is a reconstruction of the Latgalians settlement from the 9th century AD. They were then strangers in these areas, hence the necessity to build a defense settlement. 70-90 people lived in it. The main activity of its inhabitants was agriculture, cattle breeding, beekeeping, craft and trade, as well as fishing and hunting. Its end was decided by an invasion in the 12th century, as a result of which it was burnt and abandoned. The remains of the settlement were covered with water due to the sinking of foundations and rising water level in the lake.


   The fortified settlement was built on a small, partly submerged island, lined with wooden planks. The settlement was protected by a palisade, and the road to the buildings led through a narrow shallow. The homesteads were made in the log technique, i.e. the walls were made of horizontally arranged logs joined at the corners. The beams lying on one another were usually connected with oak pegs, preventing them from moving. The gaps between them had to be sealed with e.g. straw, rope, tow, or dried moss.

Current state

   The Araiši settlement was reconstructed with high historical credibility on the basis of wooden relics, discovered during archaeological works. During the excavations, about 150 different buildings were discovered and examined, about 3,500 artifacts and over 100 intact and broken clay vessels were found. Currently 16 houses from the oldest period of functioning of the settlement are reconstructed. Nearby are also ruins of the order castle and reconstruction of houses from the Neolithic period. The museum is open in the summer season (from April 1 to October 31): from Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00, and in the winter season (from November 1 to March 31): on Wednesday and Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00.

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