Bronze Age buildings of Northern Europe
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Bronze Age Europe buildings

Lake house on stilts
Reconstruction of lake house
(Pfahlbau Museum Unteruhldingen on
Lake Constance, Germany, ca. 3000 BC)

As the people of Europe began to have more contact with West Asia and North Africa in the Bronze Age, about 3000 BC, they started to build more complicated houses like their neighbors and trading partners. People built rectangular wattle and daub houses with thatched roofs. Many houses had big storage pits under them, to store wheat and barley in.

As the Urnfield culture spread across Europe, people were richer, and there were more of them. They began to build wooden fences or stone walls (without mortar) around their villages, and many villages were on top of hills. Some villages were built on stilts in the middle of lakes for safety (compare these to earlier Chinese stilt houses). Most houses were still pretty small, but some were bigger, and might have been houses for a chief and his followers, dependents, and servants or slaves.

Learn by doing: what do people build houses out of near you? Are most houses wood or stone or brick? Walk around and see.
Iron Age architecture

Bibliography and further reading about Northern European buildings:

More about Northern Europe
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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