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History of Architecture

ARC 112

PREHISTORIC Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic


2 types of permanent buildings
SingleSingle-cell type, beehive shaped, round or oval in plan MultiMulti-celled collection of rectangular rooms 

Wood shelters built in front of caves on stone pavements  More frequently round or oval dry-stone huts built in open settlements near water drysources in the limestone uplands  Transition to houses with rectangular rooms mostly took place in this period in most of the regions  Also transition from dry-stone huts to houses in mud and stone and finally to dryrectangular houses in mud-brick / tauf (mud + straw) mud Development of moulded mud-brick encouraged precision of construction mud-

Small communities were composed of single-roomed houses with flat roofs, built of singlemud and stone, with walls and floors buttressed, mud-plastered internally, and mudpainted in variety of earth colours  Most villages had contiguous dwellings, but some had narrow alleys and courtyards dwellings,  Mostly dwellings and fortification walls, with the exception of Catal Huyuk where walls, large number of elaborate shrines were found 

During this period, character of these simple villages changed in four ways: 
              Improvement in construction and planning multi-roomed thin-walled houses of mud-brick multithinmudEmergence of non-residential buildings for work storage and ritual purposes culminating in nonmonumental temple architecture of Mesopotamia More open form of village layout including streets More widespread construction of walls for many purposes including defence Almost everywhere change from round to rectangular buildings built of mud Houses superimposed one above the other - sometimes rectangular buildings built on top of earlier round dry-stone buildings sometimes rebuilt by each generation, the earlier buildings being dryabsorbed into settlement mounds Shrines and dwellings were planned the same way except that shrines were larger and elaborately decorated Shrines were planned with rooms in sequence Storage buildings often consisted of rectangular rooms on either side of a central corridor Both storage and shrines tended towards regular and symmetrical layouts Number of villages had increased dramatically in many areas Trend was for larger townships, many of them fortified There was great regional diversity in layout and forms of domestic buildings Simply organized with no palaces At first specialized buildings were contiguous with dwellings, later free standing, and occasionally (temples and storage blocks) grouped around three sides of a courtyard





Primarily domestic but shrines, workshops and storage buildings have also been found Flourished until early 6000BC Ain Mallaha, Israel, 9000-8000BC 900050 huts with a population of about 200-300 on an 2002) near lake Hulen open site (2000m The subterranean huts were dug into the terrain to a depth of about 1.3m and the entrances were located on the lower side Most of them circular from 3-9m in diameter DryDry-stone huts some with stone paved floors Beehive forms were constructed of reeds or matting and were probably supported on posts One had walls finished with lime plaster with red colour 

Jericho, Israel, 8350-7350BC 8350Round and oval houses over 4ha of land About 5m in diameter, mud brick construction Bricks supported domed superstructure of branches covered with clay 

Jericho, Israel, 7350BC
Fortified township encircled by stone wall 3m thick, 4m high 700m in thick, circumference The fortification underwent rebuilding storage chambers, watch towers, etc. towers, packed, Houses highly packed, seem to have intercommunicated through sreenwalls and courtyards Some had stone foundations and some had upper floors made of timber They had lime plastered floors Plastered walls with red painted dado Some walls also decorated with geometric patterns Had solid walls and wide doorways with rounded jambs 

Mureybet, North Syria, 8640-8142BC 8640Round or oval huts with red clay walls supporting a light timber superstructure

Mureybet, North Syria, 7954-7542BC 7954Rectangular houses as well as round huts Both constructed from soft limestone laid in clay and pebble mortar By the end of this period, plan had evolved to include multi-roomed houses, multihouses, possibly with access through roofs Wall painting in one of the houses found 

Cayonu, North Syria, 7500-6800BC 7500The lowest level contained rectangular stone buildings 5x10m in area 
A multi-room building with a hall and a square room with 2 flanking rows of 3 cubicles multi Plastered floors  Grid like foundation that may have supported timber floor

The top levels 
Workshop measuring 5x8m made up of 6/7 small cubicles

First mud buildings 
simple square or rectangular one-roomed houses about 5x9m one Flat roofed  Doors with carved jambs located at narrow end 

Beidha, Southern Jordon, 7000-6000BC 7000Initially 
Were curvilinear  They were semi-subterranean up to 4m in semidiameter  Dwellings and storerooms were grouped in clusters within walled courtyards  Whole village was surrounded by stone wall

Free standing polygonal houses with rounded corners Followed by rectangular stone houses Finally clusters of stone-built houses and stoneworkshops 
Each house had one room measuring 7x9m  Floors and walls of white burnished plaster decorated with a red stripe at floor level  Outside was L-shaped walled courtyard each had Lseveral workshops about 8m long clustered together 

Khirokitia, Cyprus, 5650BC
About a 1000 houses approached by stonestone-paved road Some had outbuildings for storage, grinding corn, cooking, and workshops Most houses had wall courtyards Built round houses 3-8m in diameter Lower part of the walls made of local limestone Domed superstructure of mud-brick mudSome houses had double walls, the outer walls, wall acting as retaining wall Some had lofts supported on stone pillars 

Shrine at Jericho, 7000BC
A small room with a niche in which was placed a standing stone may have been a cult room Another had a portico which led to a vestibule and inner chamber containing a pair of stone pillars symmetrically placed about the axis of entry 

Shrine at Cayonu, 7000BC
Shrine like building 9x10m with internally buttresses stone walls Floor was paved with pink pebbles set in red oxide



The dwellings displayed a degree of standardization Inhabitants seem to have taken part in highly organized rituals Later in the period, many settlements were heavily fortified Hacilar, 7500-6000BC 7500Dwellings closely packed with access by the way of roofs Built of mud bricks on stone foundations Appear to be multi-roomed, plastered internally multiPainted in cream and red bands 

Later in the period, substantial rectangular mud brick houses were built 10x4m
Walls over 1m thick Doors were normally in the centre of long sides, timber thresholds and jambs sides, Cupboards were let into the walls Light-weight partition of sticks + plaster screened off the storage area LightCeilings of stout timber beams were supported on a pair of center posts The posts may have carried upper storey of wood and plaster consisting of a verandah and a row of small rooms 

In its final stages 5400-5000BC 5400wall, The settlement was fortified with stone wall, area about 2450sqm Consisted of houses, a granary, a guard house, potters workshops and shrines It was heavily fortified, the central courtyard was ringed by fortified, blocks of 2-storey houses, with roof access, and separated from 2access, each other by small fenced yards 


Hasan, 7500-6000BC 7500-

Closely packed and square or rectangular in plan Later buildings (4950BC) were thick walled and built of mud brick reinforced with timber Some houses had lightweight upper storeys 

Catal Huyuk, 6250-5400BC 6250Extended over 13 acres supported a population of 4000-6000 people 4000Mainly rectangular single roomed houses each about 25sqm Plastered walls and floors Densely packed and contiguous with occasional open courtyards Each house had its own walls Floors were covered with straw mats and walls decorated with simple geometric designs Access was by a ladder from the roof Appears to have been unfortified Dense package of dwellings without streets Residents gained access to the dwellings across roofs High openings in the walls were for ventilation Mud-brick walls and a post-and-lintel timber framework enclosed rectangular spaces that Mudpost-andabutted the neighboring houses so that together they established the perimeter town wall With the houses were windowless shrines containing decorative motifs of bulls and cult statuettes of deities 

Fortress of Mersin, 4500-4200BC 4500Gateway with projecting towers Quarters surrounded a central open courtyard Had flat roofs Barrack-like rooms which abutted the defensive walls Barrackat the rear Small walled yards in the front Originally intercommunicating but later self-contained selfHad slit windows Contained grindstones, mud platforms, and hearths To the right of the main gate was a larger and more elaborate house for the commander of the garrison 

Shrine at Catal Huyuk, 6250-5400 6250Richly furnished and decorated buildings Laid out in the same way as the residences Intermingled with them But decorated with engravings paintings and reliefs 

Shrine at Hacilar, 5400BC
Usually simple square rooms with niches containing standing stones One was planned with a porch and anteroom Shrines were decorated with geometric wall patterns


This region did not produce shrines although large multi room dwellings were found Ali Kosh, 8000-6500 8000Plain small single storey thin walled houses of rectangular plan Clay bricks 250x150x100 Larger multi-room came later which had rooms up to 3x3m made of clay slabs multi400x250x100. There were open courtyards and alleys separated the houses 

Ganjdareh, 7289-7000BC 7289Mud bricks Houses made up of small rectangular rooms, close packed with roof access Roofs made of beams supporting reeds daubed with clay Walls and floors finished internally with mud plaster 

Tepe Guran, 6500-5500BC 6500Began as a winter camp Wooden huts with 2 or 3 small rooms Later (6200BC) similar houses in mud-brick and contained built-in mud benches and tables mudbuiltFloors and walls with red or white plaster Courtyards with terrazo with white felspar chippings set in red clay 

Jarmo, 6000-5000BC 6000In the mountains, made up of 20-30 small rectangular mud 20houses Population of about 150 Each house had an open courtyard measuring roughly 3x4m Comprised of several rooms packed into a space of 5x6m 

TalTal-i-Iblis, 4000BC
Built with thick walled heavily buttressed storerooms grouped at the centre and surrounded by larger living rooms with red plaster floors One of the houses had an elaborate arch and contained infant burials

Transcaspian and Transcaucasian Regions 


These regions produced standardised one-roomed houses and larger shrine onelike buildings decorated with wall paintings Variety of village layouts open, irregular free standing groups, contiguous (each with a shrine and separated from others by street-like spaces) and streetfinally to walled settlements containing blocks of dwellings and shrines Djeitun, 5600BC
Built with mud and sun-dried bricks tempered with straw sun30 households, population about 150 Rectangular in plan each with one room about 5x6m Some houses had plain interiors with a hearth located centrally on one wall while others were more elaborate Walls were coated with mud plaster, occasionally painted red and black Each house had a courtyard and outbuilding sometimes shared with a neighbour In the open space of the village were timber grain drying platforms supported on parallel mud-brick walls mud- 

Hajji Fruz, 5319-4959BC 5319Open village of single room detached houses separated by lanes and courtyards Made of mud-brick and mortar mudHad outbuildings Houses were 6.5x4m Internal mud-brick buttresses and wooden posts supported a roof of mudbeams reeds and clay Roof may have been pitched 

Chakmakli Depe, 5000BC
Divided by a lane into 2 groups Houses made of large mud bricks 500x200x100 Had 2 rooms, small kitchen and larger living room in sequence In each group, one dwelling had red floors and walls which may have served as a shrine 

Dashliji Depe, 5000BC
Fortified settlement 45x38m In which stood small mud brick houses like those in Djeitun and a larger shrine like structure 

Yalangach Depe, 4500BC
Enclosed by a massive defensive wall with round towers In N-E corner of the township houses are arranged Naround a central larger space possibly a shrine 

Mullali Depe
Also walled and have round towers and a shrine at the center 

Imiris Gora, Tanscaucasia, 4660-3955BC 4660The village had an estimated population of 200200-250 Many were semi-subterranean semiSeveral houses had keyhole shaped plans with internal buttresses to take the thrust where domes abutted Some has outhouses arranged around courtyards Were round or oval 3-4.5m in diameter Built of mud-brick on stone foundations mudLater 2-roomed houses evolved with buttressed walls and flat roofs supported on timber posts 

Shrine at Djeitun, 5600BC
Similar in layout but twice the size

Shrine at Pessejik
Similar to that at Djeitun Floors and walls decorated with paintings of animals and geometric motifs 

Shrine at Yasa Depe, 5000BC
Was larger than others and had 2 rooms The outer room was decorated with wall paintings and contained a ritual hearth The inner room had colonnades of wooden pillars on the flank walls The doorway os opposite the alter which was decorated with geometric wall paintings in brown red and white 

Shrine at Dashliji Depe, 5000BC
Was also painted in black and red



In this region there was a succession of cultures Hassuna, Samarra, Halaf, Eridu and Ubaid An earlier occupation in the region of Umm Dabaghiya which predated all of these Mud brick dwellings of Hassuna and Samarra were large rectangular with many rooms Those of Halaf period reverted to tholos like design Settlements of Eridu and Ubaid periods are in the lines of development of monumental temple architecture of Sumerian dynasties 

Umm Dabaghiya, Mesopotamia, 5500BC
Pre-Hassuna mound 100x85m high in northern plains of Iraq PreOccupation passed through evolutionary stages of small oval temporary shelters and storage pits, tauf-built houses, houses and storage blocks arranged around taufcentral courtyards, and finally un-plastered storage cubicles with roof access unlinked internally by corridors Domestic architecture was exceptionally neat 
         Oriented north south Closely packed Each had living room, kitchen, and 1 or 2 more rooms, 1.2-2sqm 1.2Square, constructed in tauf without stone foundations Walls buttressed internally, some houses had access from the roof Usually 1 room was divided by an arch, one of the earliest uses of this form of construction Houses decorated with plaster and red paint and wall paintings in black yellow and red showing hunting scenes At a later stage storage blocks were built around U-shaped courtyards UBuildings were single storey with roofs of braches and reeds covered in plaster and furnished with trapdoors Small scale construction may be due to lack of timber locally 

Tell Hassuna, 5500-5000BC 5500200X150m Round structures 2.5-6m across and rectangular dwellings 2.510x2.5m in plan were found together in the lowest levels More recent levels had larger and more sophisticated buildings in which passages and courtyards finished with gypsum plaster Separate large single storey multi-room houses with flat roofs multiand internal courtyards 

Yarim Tepe
Dated Hassuna period 60-70 houses with population of about 400 60Mud brick houses were uniform in shape size and character and uniform arranged in parallel rows 

Tell-esTell-es-Sawwan, 5600-5300BC 5600220x110m Farming village of several hundred people Character differed from villages of similar date in that had stone foundations Uniform in size Constructed of moulded mud bricks Walls and floors coated in mud plaster Externally buttressed to take beams supporting roof of reeds and clay Roof of reed an clay Village surrounded by ditch cut into the bedrock 

Choga Mami, 5500BC
Enclosed by buttressed walls Houses were rectangular and multi-cellular multiFor eg., one of them had 12 rooms packed into an area of 9x7m Construction similar to that of Tell-es-Sawwan Tell-es- 

Arpachiya, Mesopotamian lowlands, 5000BC
Beehive shaped houses Dwellings were keyhole shaped in plan. Rectangular anterooms were up to 19m long and domed chamber up to 10m across Walls up to 2m thick Walls were of plastered tauf, occasionally painted red 

Al Ubaid, 4500-4200BC 4500Consisted of dwellings with flat roofs and walls formed of reed mats suspended between palm stems and plastered with mud Some houses with roofs formed by bending bundles of reeds to form arches 


at Tell-es-Sawwan, 5300BC Tell-es-

A large T-shaped building with 14 rooms were Tdiscovered immediately overlying a cemetery May have been a small one 

Most striking monuments of Neolithic period in the Near East were the temples of Ubaid
Rectangular mud-block buildings erected on platforms of clay or imported stones mudforerunners of Sumerian ziggurats Central rectangular chamber flanked on both sides by smaller cells A flight of stair led to a door on the long side of a room about 10mts long with broad platform on one side and an alter/table on the other Ladders in smaller rooms occasionally gave access to upper floors / roofs Late temples had friezes decorated with coloured ceramic cones and bitumen 

Shrine at Tepe Gawra, 3600BC
Sequence in temple building Round building 18m in diameter containing 17 rooms within its outer walls Outer walls were over 1m thick Possibly used for rituals in local tradition 

This temple existed alongside those of the Ubaid
A group of 3 temples around a large courtyard onto which other minor buildings faced Similar to that of Eridu but lacked ritual objects 

Later, temples had rectangular sanctuaries and were entered through open porticoes usually with 2 lateral chambers on either side


Megalithic Tomb, Er-Mane, Carnac, Brittany, France, 4200BC ErBefore 4000BC, chambered tombs of dry-wall masonry with corbelled roofs dry-

Newgrange passage grave, County Meath, Ireland, 3100BC
Tombs were an expression of reverence for ancestors A means of establishing claims to land This grave located on the crest of the hill An earthen mound 300 diameter and 36 high Weight of the soil providing stability for the magaliths below Decorated boulders surround the perimeter of the mound Tomb approached by long passage of upright stones Passage 62 from south sloped upward covered by stone lintels terminating in 20 high chamber 

Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, southwestern England
Distinct building phases can be observed 1st phase around 2900BC 
       2 concentric circular ditches Inside the perimeter 56 evenly spaced holes (Aubrey holes) dug and filled with chalk Pointed upright stone heel stone located axially outside the perimeter 82 coffin-sized stones of grey-blue dolerite erected in double ring of 38 pairs and 6 stones defining the N-E approach axis coffingreyNAt some point these stones were removed, referred to as O and R holes 35 lintels 40 sarcen (a form of sandstone) stones These were erected in a circle of 30 uprights enclosing 5 trilithons (2 uprights capped by a single lintel) arranged in UUshape to focus on the avenue

2nd phase around 2400BC 3rd phase


Transition to rectangular mud-built town houses took place in 3400BC mudThese were constructed on wattle and daub occasionally on rough stone foundations Houses were two-roomed with walled open courts adjoining the streets twoGraves became increasingly elaborate 

El-Badari, Egypt (3200BC) ElResidence 
          Had 2 rooms, facing open walled courtyards Larger inner living rooms about 2m square Mud structure, roof of thatch and mud Several hundred grouped in dense clusters No superstructure to mark the grave survive More elaborate Walls of graves strengthened by sticks and matting or wood panelled chambers were constructed Some chambers had upper compartments designed to carry grave goods Both types roofed with mud-plastered sticks and matting or planks mudOne of the tombs had stone superstructure in the form of 4-tiered stepped pyramid on a square base 420mx20m Stones undressed, roughly coursed and beneath the pyramid a pit is dug

Cemetery at Badari Cemetery at Naqada 

Merimde, Lower Egypt, 4500BC
Village of huts oval or horseshoe in plan 5-6m across Constructed from a framework of posts and covered with reed matting Huts aligned in rows Some of them may have had fenced yards 

Hammamiya, Upper Egypt, 4000BC
Consists of a number of hut circles Included storage and living rooms up to 2m diameter Sunk into the ground to a depth of about 1m