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When the ice age ended a new way of life began. By 8, BC people in the Middle East had begun to farm. Food was cooked in clay ovens. The people of Jericho knew how to make sun-dried bricks and they used them to make houses. About 7, BC a new people lived in Jericho and they had learned to make mortar. They used it to plaster walls and floors. Catal Huyuk was one of the world's first towns.

It was built in what is now Turkey about 6, BC not long after farming began. Catal Huyuk probably had a population of about 6, In Catal Huyuk the houses were made of mud brick. Houses were built touching against each other. They did not have doors and houses were entered through hatches in roofs.

Presumably having entrances in the roofs was safer than having them in the walls. Catal Huyuk was unusual among early towns as it was not surrounded by walls. Since houses were built touching each other the roofs must have acted as streets! People must have walked across them. In Catal Huyuk there were no panes of glass in windows and houses did not have chimneys. Instead, there were only holes in the roofs to let out the smoke. Inside houses were plastered and often had painted murals of people and animals on the walls. People slept on platforms.

In Catal Huyuk the dead were buried inside houses. Although they may have been exposed outside to be eaten by vultures first. By 4, BC farming had spread across Europe. When people began farming they stopped living in tents made from animal skins and they began to live in huts made from stone or wattle and daub with thatched roofs. Bronze Age people lived in round wooden huts with thatched roofs. The first civilization arose in Sumer which is now Iraq.

There were a number of city states. Each city had a protector god and the king was regarded as his representative on earth. Below the king were nobles and rich merchants who lived in considerable comfort in large houses with many rooms. Their houses were two story high and they were arranged around a courtyard. However poor people lived in simple huts.

Another civilization arose in the Indus Valley. Its center was the city of Mohenjo-Daro. The city consisted of two parts. In the center part was a citadel. It contained a public bath and assembly halls. It also held a granary where grain was stored. The lower part of the town had streets laid out in a grid pattern. The houses were 2 or even 3 stories and were made of brick as stone was uncommon in the area.

Bricks were of a standard size and the Indus Valley civilization had standard weights and measures. The streets had networks of drains. The Minoans were an early civilization on the island of Crete. The Minoans are famous for the palace at Knossos although there were other palaces at Mallia, Zakro, and Phaistos. The palace at Knossos was built around a central courtyard. On the ground floor of the palace were storage areas.


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In them, grain and olive oil were stored in large clay jars called pithoi. The upper floors of the palace were living quarters and they were luxurious. Light wells let in both light and cool air. Wooden columns painted red supported ceilings. Frescoes were painted on the walls. Sometimes human beings were painted but often sea animals such as dolphins were shown. Some rooms in the palace of Knossos were lined with alabaster. The palace at Knossos had bathrooms and even a flushing toilet. Of course, only a tiny minority lived in luxury like that. Most people lived in simple stone huts of one or two rooms.

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Rich Egyptians lived in large, comfortable houses with many rooms. Walls were painted and the floors had colored tiles. Most wealthy houses had enclosed gardens with pools. Inside their homes, rich Egyptians had wooden furniture such as beds, chairs, tables, and chests for storage. However, instead of pillows, they used wooden headrests. Toilets consisted of a clay pot filled with sand. It was emptied regularly.

Ordinary people lived in simpler homes made of mud bricks with perhaps four rooms. People may have slept on the flat roof when it was hot and they did most of their work outside because of the heat. The furniture was very basic. Ordinary Egyptians sat on brick benches around the walls.

They used reed chests or wooden pegs on walls to store things. Ordinary people in Babylon lived in simple huts made from sun-dried mud bricks. However, if the owner was wealthy they might have an upper story. The rich lived in palaces with central courtyards. The walls were decorated with painted murals. There were even bathrooms with pipes for drainage. Greek homes were usually plain and simple.

They were made of mud bricks covered in plaster. Roofs were made of pottery tiles. Windows did not have glass and were just holes in the wall. Poor people lived in just one, two or three rooms. Rich Greeks lived in large houses with several rooms. Usually, they were arranged around a courtyard and they often had an upper story. Downstairs was the kitchen and the dining room called the andron. So was the living room. Upstairs were bedrooms and a room for women called a gynoecium the women wove cloth there and also ate their meals there away from the men.

The rivals of the Greeks were the Persians. Rich Persians lived in palaces of timber, stone, and brick. They had comfortable upholstered furniture such as beds, couches, and chairs.

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Tables were overlaid with gold, silver, and ivory. The rich also owned gold and silver vessels, as well as glass vessels. They also owned tapestries and carpets.

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Rich people in the Persian empire also had beautiful gardens. Our word 'paradise' comes from the Persian word for garden. For ordinary people, things were quite different. They lived in simple huts made from mud brick. If they were quite well off they might live in a house of several rooms arranged around a courtyard.

However poor people lived in huts of just one room. Any furniture was very basic. The Celts lived in round houses.

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They were built around a central pole with horizontal poles radiating outwards from it. They rested on vertical poles. Walls were of wattle and daub and roofs were thatched. Around the walls inside the huts were benches, which also doubled up as beds. The Celts also used low tables.

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In Rome poor people lived in blocks of flats called insulae. Most were at least five stories high. However they were often badly built, and their walls sometimes cracked and roofs caved in. Most people lived in just one or two rooms. Rooms were heated by charcoal burned in braziers. The inhabitants used public lavatories.

Most obtained water from public fountains and troughs. It was too dangerous for the inhabitants of insulae to cook indoors and they had to buy hot food from shops. In Roman Britain rich people built villas modeled on Roman buildings and they enjoyed luxuries such as mosaics and even a form of central heating called a hypocaust. Wealthy Romans also had wall paintings called murals in their houses. In their windows, they had panes of glass.

Of course, poorer Romans had none of these things. Their houses were simple and plain and the main form of heating was braziers. The Saxons lived in wooden huts with thatched roofs. Usually, there was only one room shared by everybody. Poor people shared their huts with animals divided from them by a screen. During the winter the animal's body heat helped keep the hut warm. Thanes and their followers slept on beds but the poorest people slept on the floor.

There were no panes of glass in windows, even in a Thane's hall and there were no chimneys. Floors were of earth or sometimes they were dug out and had wooden floorboards placed over them. There were no carpets. Peasants houses were simple wooden huts. They had wooden frames filled in with wattle and daub strips of wood woven together and covered in a 'plaster' of animal hair and clay. However, in some parts of the country huts were made of stone. Peasants huts were either whitewashed or painted in bright colors. The poorest people lived in one-room huts.

Slightly better off peasants lived in huts with one or two rooms. There were no panes of glass in the windows only wooden shutters, which were closed at night. The floors were of hard earth sometimes covered in straw for warmth. In the middle of a Medieval peasant's hut was a fire used for cooking and heating.


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There was no chimney. Chairs were very expensive and no peasant could afford one. Instead they sat on benches or stools. They would have a simple wooden table and chests for storing clothes and other valuables. Tools and pottery vessels were hung on hooks. The peasants slept on straw and they did not have pillows. Instead they rested their heads on wooden logs. At night in summer and all day in winter the peasants shared their huts with their animals.

Parts of it were screened off for the livestock. Their body heat helped to keep the hut warm. Medieval Merchant's House in Southampton. The Normans, at first, built castles of wood. In the early 12th century stone replaced them. In the towns, wealthy merchants began living in stone houses. The first ordinary people to live in stone houses were Jews.

They had to live in stone houses for safety. In Saxon times a rich man and his entire household lived together in one great hall. In the Middle Ages, the great hall was still the center of a castle but the lord had his own room above it. This room was called the solar. Write a Review. Related Searches. A History of Silence: From the Renaissance to. Silence is not simply the absence of noise. It is within us, in the inner It is within us, in the inner citadel that great writers, thinkers, scholars and people of faith have cultivated over the centuries. It characterizes our most intimate and sacred spaces, from private View Product.

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