Stone Age Greek Architecture - Ancient Greece
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Stone Age Greek Houses

Before the New Stone Age, people had lived in caves, but around 6000 BC people living in Greece began to build houses for themselves instead. At first they built small houses out of wattle and daub: sticks woven together and plastered over with mud. The roofs were thatched with grass and they left a hole in the top to let out the smoke from the fire (there were no chimneys yet). The houses were very small, and really people spent most of their time outside, as you do when you are camping out and there is only a small tent. Unless it was raining (which is not very often in Greece), people cooked outside, ate outside, pooped outside, worked and played outside, and often slept outside if it was warm enough. The little houses, like your tent when you are camping, were mainly to keep things in.

At this time people also built wooden walls around their villages, because they were beginning to fight wars. People lived in small groups of a hundred or so people, inside these walls. They did not build roads or bridges, and when you went to the next village you had to walk on a dirt path, and if you came to a river you had to wade across or swim, or use a boat.

Later in the Stone Age, people began to build more substantial houses. These had stone foundations and mud-brick walls, and were a little larger. People also began to build stone and mud-brick walls around their villages. But there were still no roads or bridges.

Megaron house
Megaron House

In the Late Neolithic, about 4000 BC, new ways of doing things came to Greece, probably from West Asia. One of these new things was a way to build a bigger house: the megaron, or "big room" house. A megaron house was a large rectangular room, sometimes with a curved apse at one end, and with a porch at the other end, like this one. Megarons (MEG-ah-rahnz) may have been houses for chiefs. In the Late Neolithic, it was mostly just the one big megaron house that was inside the walls, and ordinary people seem to have lived in smaller huts outside the walls and only come in when the village was under attack.

Learn by doing: How to spin thread
More about Early Bronze Age architecture

Bibliography and further reading about Stone Age Greece:

Stone Age Greek History
Stone Age Greek Art
Bronze Age architecture
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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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