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1. Where did primitive people look for protection?

Most of the time of a modern man is spent within the walls of some building. Houses are built for dwelling; large buildings are constructed for industrial purposes; theatres, museums, public and scientific institutions are built for cultural activities of the people. The purposes of modern buildings differ widely, but all of them originate from the efforts of primitive (перво­бытный) men to protect themselves from stormy weather, wild animals and human enemies. Protection was looked for everywhere. In prehistoric times men looked for protection under the branches of trees; some covered themselves with skins of animals to protect themselves from cold and rain; others settled in caves (пещеры).

2. What are the earliest types of human dwellings?

When the Ice Age had passed, Europe remained very cold, at least in winter, and so the people of the Old Stone Age had to find some warm and dry place to shelter from bad weather. They chose caves, dwelling places that storm and cold could not destroy. On the walls of their caves ancient people painted pictures. Such decorated caves are found in Europe, Asia and Africa.

When man began to build a home for himself, caves were imitated in stone structures, trees were taken as a model for huts built of branches, skins were raised on poles and formed tents.


Primitive stone structures, huts and tents are the earliest types of human dwellings, they are lost in the prehistoric past but serve as prototypes for structures of later historic times.

3. Why were the houses in town higher than in the country?

In the days of early civilization, once men had learnt how to build simple houses for their families, they began to feel a need to have a number of different kinds of houses in one place. At first the difference was mainly in size - the chief or leader had a larger hut or tent than the rest of the people. Much later, when men began to build towns, there grew up a difference between town houses and country houses. The streets in towns were very narrow and there was not much place for building within the town walls, and therefore houses had to be built higher than they were in the country. A typical town house consisted of a shop opening on the street where the man did his work or sold his goods, with a kitchen behind and a bedroom above

4. What were the houses in ancient Egypt built of?

In the country ordinary people lived in simple one-storey cottages which did not differ much from the mud and stone huts of an earlier age.

The rich people in the country, on the other hand, built huge castles (замки) with thick walls and narrow windows. These castles were built not only as dwellings, but also to stand up to enemy attack and to be strong bases in time of war. The earliest houses of which anything is known are those of ancient Egypt. They were built of bricks dried in the sun. Some of them were built around a courtyard or garden with rooms opening into it.

5. How did the light come into early English houses?

Greek houses, too, had a courtyard in the middle and round their courtyard ran a covered walk (аллея), its ceiling supported by pillars. There were special women's quarters, usually upstairs on the second storey.

In Rome bricks were used for building and houses were often finished with plaster over bricks on both inside and outside walls. The centre of family life was a garden-courtyard, surrounded by columns and with rooms opening out into it.

The earliest houses in Britain were round, built of wood or wicker basket work (плетение из прутьев) plastered over with clay. In the centre of the house was the hearth (очаг) and light came in through the hole in the roof above it and through the door because there were no windows.


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