The Rõuge ancient farm project was initiated in 2010 by Viire Kobrusepp and managed by her until 2016. She got the idea to build an Iron Age experimental archaeology centre in Estonia in 2004 when she was visiting historical centres in Denmark. Visiting Lejre, Trelleborg and other historical regions reignited Viire’s love of history.

Viire began studying archaeology at the University of Tartu in 2006. Her Bachelor’s thesis concentrated on the base structures of buildings located in north-western Russia. In her Master’s thesis, Viire concentrated her research on an archaeological Iron Age building experiment that saw the construction of a Viking era dwelling house. This was followed by a living experiment. In order to carry out the project, Viire gathered a group of enthusiastic archaeology students and friends who helped build the walls and roof structures of the ancient dwelling in 2010.


The group continued working every weekend until September and October but, despite their efforts, failed to complete the building that year. When the first snow of the year came, the building was conserved and construction work would continue the following year.

The living experiment began in 2012 and comprised of five archaeology students who were willing to try living in the conditions of the Iron Age. In order to collect scientific data, the experiment was carried out as authentically as possible. In 2012, an ancient handicraft workshop was held at the ancient house for students.

Construction on the ancient farm compound began in 2013. The aim was to erect a granary, a lavvu, a smithy and a barn.

Viire Kobrusepp managed the ancient farm project until her death in the fall of 2016.