Āraiši lake fortress was attacked and destroyed in the late 10th century, and was never rebuilt. When the foundations settled and the water level in the lake rose, the building remains and artefacts ended up underwater, and in these anaerobic conditions they were preserved up to the present day. The excavated archaeological material provides quite a full picture of Latgallian material culture during the Viking Age, and partially also of their mental culture, and so the idea was born of recreating the lake fortress as an open-air archaeological museum. Chosen for reconstruction was the earliest building phase, from the 9th century, since this was the best preserved. Based on the research material, the lower sections of the buildings were recreated as copies of the recovered originals, while the upper parts were reconstructed on the basis of structural elements from these buildings found in the archaeological layers, also using ethnographic parallels. Used in the building work are replicas of the tools discovered in the excavation. Thus, the reconstructed Āraiši lake fortress exhibits a high degree of historical accuracy. Reconstruction work is still underway, and can be viewed by the visitors.
Jānis Apals. Rekonstruktion der befestigten Inselsiedlung des 9. Jh. in Araisi: Vorbericht. In: Experimentelle Archäologie – Bilanz 1994. Oldenburg, 1995. S. 97–110.