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History of Architecture Module – 1 Early Cultures Architecture as part of cultureUnderstanding the early cultures Dr. Binumol Tom, Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Trivandrum
PREHISTORIC ERAThe Prehistoric Era is broken down into three sub eras.• The first is the Paleolithic (old stone age)• The second is the Mesolithic (middle stone age) and• The last is the Neolithic (new stone age).• Chalcolithic Age• Bronze Age
• Structures of the pre historic period, although interesting for archaeological reasons, have little or no architectural value.The remains may be classified under : i. Monoliths, or single upright stones, also known as menhirs, a well-known example 63 feet high, 14 feet in diameter, and weighing 260 tons, being at Carnac, Brittany. Another example is at Locmariaker, also in Brittany (No. 2 B).
Menhir - Locmariaquer in Brittany in north-western France.
ii. Dolmens (Daul, atable, and maen, a stone),consisting of one largeflat stone supported byupright stones. A dolmen—also knownas a portal tomb, portalgrave, dolmainExamples are to befound near Maidstoneand other places inEngland, also in Ireland,Northern France, theChannel Islands, Italy(No. 2 F) and India.
iii. Cromlechs, or circlesof stone, as atStonehenge (No. 2 G),Avebury (Wilts), andelsewhere, consisting of aseries of upright stonesarranged in a circle andsupporting horizontalslabs. used to describeprehistoric megalithicstructures, where crommeans "bent" and llechmeans "flagstone".
• iv. Tumuli, or burial mounds - A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn. A long barrow is a long tumulus, usually for numbers of burials.• were probably prototypes of the Pyramids of Egypt (No. 4) and the beehive huts found in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland (No. 2 D, E) and elsewhere. That at New Grange (Ireland) resembles somewhat the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae (No. 15).
v. Lake Dwellings,as discovered in thelakes ofSwitzerland, Italyand Ireland Lake Dwellings, or Crannoges, Lake Ardakillin,consisted of Roscommon.wooden hutssupported on piles,and were so placedfor protectionagainst hostileattacks of all kinds. Ancient Swiss Lake Dwellings.
• The earliest dwellings were the humble nomadic multi-chambered caves and rock shelters and fragile tent-like structures of our Western and Southern European Stone Age ancestors.
• In the Paleolithic Age Paleolithic age the people were 350,000 - 12000 nomadic.• They lived in caves and made art on the walls.• Didnt build permanent dwellings. Made temporary homes in caves or tents made from branches and animal skins.• Had to move when the animals did.
Paleolithic age• Made tools.• Used fire.• Language to pass on information.• Fire provided warmth, cooking, light, smoke to preserve food and made animal skins more waterproof; torches to drive animals off cliffs
Neanderthal• Widespread Paleolithic People. (100,000 -40,000 Years Ago)• Had rituals for a successful hunt.• Buried dead. Left items in the graves showing they believed in an afterlife.
Paleolithic ArchitectureThe houses and dwellings of the Palaeolithic period are generally classified as:•Huts (Terra Amata, Nice) are the earliest known structures. In this Artists reconstruction of hut at Terra Amata, Spain. Controversy exists over case they were built by nomadic dating of site of fossil post holes, and whether site is H. erectus (300,000 BC) or H. sapiens (40,000 BC) hunters who returned to the same Successful hunter of large sandy beaches, each spring. The grazing animals. It may have been this skill which allowed construction consists of walls Erectus to follow the herds out made of a palisade of timber of the tropics. This species stakes, arranged in an oval plan, continued on for almost a million years, moved beyond with a bracing ring of stoners on Africa; their remains are found the outside. The interior had a from Spain to Indonesia to Peking. Later H erectus lived central hearth and the floor was in dwellings, used fire, made of a beaten layer of ash and possibly cared for old and crippled relative. What organic material. There is no Homo Erectus (1.2 mya - 200,000 survival or evolutionary evidence that suggests the shape BC). advantage could possibly explain taking care of the halt of the roof. and the lame?
Paleolithic Architecture•Lean-to (Le Lazaret, Nice) was erected against one wall of a cave. The assembly probably consisted of a timber frame with post supports and a skin covering, pinned to the ground by a circle of stones.
Paleolithic Architecture• Te n t s - Tepee-like tents were a common feature of glacial Europe (Czechoslovakia, Germany and France). The structure consisted of a timber framework covered with animal (mammoth?) skins. The skirts were invariably weighed down with stones and the interior paved
Ice Age 20,000 yr ago…… ended by c 8000• During the cold winter months and during the Ice Age, more substantial shelter was necessary because the temperatures averaged 13 º F.• Caves and cliff overhangs were used in mountainous areas and many of those still in existence have provided Archaeologists with much information about the Stone Age cultures.• On plains and steppes, shelters were constructed from bones, stones, trees, and animal skins.• As the glaciers diminished and the Stone Age climate warmed, the large animals they hunted disappeared, and people became more nomadic in search of wildlife to hunt. Various cultures intermingled and exchanged knowledge.• Shelters began to be improved as groups learned from each other.
• Humans began building clusters of homes 15,000 years ago, during the Ice Age.• The reconstruction from the Field Museum in Chicago shows what the first architecture of the Ukraine was like.• The struts were made of mammoth bones and tusks. The covering was made of mammoth hide.
How Early Humans Avoided Constant Wandering:• 1. Farm and herd. Gather seeds from wild grasses and cultivate crops. Tamed and domesticated animals - now there was a dependable food source.• Do all of this by a river. Why along rivers? Fresh water for people, animals and crops, and it made trade easier because it is easier to travel on water. Domesticated Sheep Herded in the Alps• Domesticated Sheep Herded in the Alps
• 2. Now, you can build a house. Others build houses close by, so they can be by the food source.• 3. Social structure. Men hunt; women and children work the farm.• 4. Artisans. Others, who dont want to farm, make things. Invented baked clay pottery, potters wheel, looms for weaving, etc.• 5. Barter system. How the farmers get the goods from the artisans and the artisans get food.• What Were Their Houses Like? Rectangular, flat roofs, only entrance was through the top. For ease, the houses were built adjoining each other
Who Did They Worship and How?Goddess ofAgriculture.Decorated buildingto her. Buried deadwith food, showinga belief in theafterlife.
Mesolithic c. 8000 to 5000• The Mesolithic (mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age) is a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. It began at the end of the Pleistocene epoch (coinciding with the last Ice Age) around 10,000 years ago and ended with the introduction of farming.
Neolithic Period- c 5000 - 3000• The Neolithic (or "New" Stone Age) was a period between the introduction of farming and the introduction of metal tools. The dates vary per region depending on the beginning of the development or arrival of farming and metal technology.• In the Neolithic Age people lived in towns, they had farms and kept domesticated animals. Below are some pictures of what we think they might have lived in.
Neolithic construction• The dwellings of the Neolithic period were generally small timber-framed, uni-cellular, single-family houses, or large longhouses for extended and multiple families. Dry- stone multi-cellular houses were also built.• Between 4500 – 1500BC, there originated a widespread practice of burial in Megalithic collective tombs, particularly in Western Europe, as far as Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.• These are of two types, passage and gallery graves. They differed from region to another in their purpose, plans, and methods of construction.
Neolithic construction• Temples from this period (Ggantija and Hal Tarxien, Malta) represent some of the earliest• They were formally planned with trilithion entrance passages. The structure consisted of megalithic stone-faced earthen walls.
• All over the Maltese islands, many mysterious temples were built thousands of years ago. The plans of the Maltese Neolithic temples are based on a forecourt in front of a concave facade, a trilithon doorway leading to a central paved corridor from which semicircular rooms open on both sides. Made using huge stone blocks in a period when no metal tools existed, the temples surprisingly survived until today when their gigantic structures can be still visited in Ggantija, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Tarxien and the underground Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni. Built in the honor of the Mother- Goddess of fertility, the temples seem to be the result of a superhuman effort.
• Paradoxically, Neolithic Architecture served (as most architecture would thorough history) to define emotional and spiritual needs, the realm of symbolism, ritual and religion.• The most extraordinary thing is how it rose above the utilitarian level and how readily human imagination and effort were channelled into monumental architecture, when day- to-day survival was so arduous and uncertain.• Neolithic man imagined the world in terms of his own body, the processes of birth, growth, fruition, death and rebirth.• The world was governed by supernatural causes, inaccessible and inappeasable through ordinary means, and his attempts to master them were based on the same fantasy and magical ritual, where monumental architecture reigned supreme.
• The turning point is the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age, starting 9000 BC). The Paleolithic (Early Stone Age) man had been a migratory hunter, living in small groups. But as he learned to farm, domesticate animals (as well as hunt them), and weave cloth, village communities that marked the beginning of civilisation, flourished.• Bycirca 6000 BC, sufficient population pressures, territorial ambitions and technological progress achieved the dubious advance Neolithic Burial place in full-scale interurban warfare.
Apollo II Cave-Africa,• Africas oldest rock paintings were found in southern Namibia in 1969 and carbon dated to 27, 000 years of age and that it is estimated that there are over 10 million individual painted and engraved images in Africa Location of Apollo 11 Cave - Namibia It is said that the rock paintings in the cave were discovered in 1969 at a time when the Apollo 11 shuttle mission was launched, hence the name. Apollo 11 excavation site
• The seven slabs of rock with traces of animal figures that were found in the Apollo 11 Cave in the Huns Mountains of southwestern Namibia have been dated with unusual precision for ancient rock art.• Originally brought to the site from elsewhere, the stones were painted in charcoal, ocher, and white. The stones, engraved with geometric line designs and Painted slabs in the cave representations of animals, have been dated to circa 8200 B.C. and are among the earliest recorded African stone engravings.
Wadi Kubbaniya-Egypt,• Recognized only from tools found scattered over an ancient surface, sometimes with hearths nearby.• A cluster of Late Paleolithic camps was located in two different topographic zones: on the tops of dunes and the floor of the wadi (streambed) where it enters the valley.• Although no signs of houses were found, diverse and sophisticated stone implements for hunting, fishing, and collecting and processing plants were discovered around hearths.
Wadi Kubbaniya-Egypt,• Most tools were bladelets made from a local stone called chert that is widely used in tool fabrication.• The bones of wild cattle, hartebeest, many types of fish and birds, as well as the occasional hippopotamus have been identified in the occupation layers.• Charred remains of plants that the inhabitants consumed, especially tubers, have also been found.
• Although no signs of houses were found, diverse and sophisticated stone implements for hunting, fishing, and collecting and processing plants were discovered around hearths.• The habitation sites in Wadi Kubbaniya are the highlights of the Late Palaeolithic period.• Kubbaniya was an ideal place for habitation, as the Nile flowed 15 m higher than today and a sanddune Small stones with great significance: blocked the mouth of the wadi, Grinding stone was procured at Gharb Aswan since the Late Palaeolithic period implying that a seasonal lake formed behind. This gave resourses necessary to survive in the hyperarid climate.
• Excavated by the ―Combined Prehistoric Expedition‖ 30-40 years ago, the most numerous sites are a little less than 20.000 years old.• They are famous as bearing evidence of the earliest form of ―agriculture‖, in the form of systematic collection and storing of wild plants.• For the processing of such plants (especially tubers), large amounts of grinding stones were needed – made from locally available silicified sandstone.
Pachmari Hills-India• the Satpura Range - Madhya Pradesh• The sandstone sequence is of the upper Gondwanaland formation.• The shelters are found all over the hills and the surrounding forests, in the foothills and riverbanks.• Many of the sandstone rock shelters across this area have been decorated along the ceilings and walls with paintings depicting a wide range of subjects.• Many shelters are covered with paintings made over centuries by early inhabitants depicting a wide range of subjects expressed by them in a variety of styles and left as great heritage for us to understand them and appreciate their unique contribution.• The tradition of rock painting extends as far back as the Mesolithic (ca. 9000–3000 B.C.) into the early medieval historic period.
• By popular belief the name ―Pachmarhi‖ is a derivation of ―Pach-marhi‖ or a complex of five caves of the Pandava brothers, who are supposed to have spent a considerable portion of their lifetime of exile incognito in Stag hunting this area. Hunting Wild Buffalo
Monte Verde -South America• After long, often bitter debate, archeologists have finally come to a consensus that humans reached southern Chile 12,500 years ago.• The date is more than 1,000 years before the previous benchmark for human habitation in the Americas, 11,200-year-old stone spear points first discovered in the 1930s near Clovis, N.America.• The Chilean site, known as Monte Verde, is on the sandy banks of a creek in wooded hills near the Pacific Ocean.• the bone and stone tools and other materials found there definitely mark the presence of a hunting-and-gathering people.• Even moving back the date by as little as 1,300 years, archeologists said, would have profound implications on theories about when people first reached America, presumably from northeastern Asia by way of the Bering Strait, and how they migrated south more than 10,000 miles to occupy the length and breadth of two continents.• It could mean that early people, ancestors of the Indians, first arrived in their new world at least 20,000 years before Columbus.
Monte Verde -South America• "a convincing case" that the remains of huts, fireplaces and tools showed human occupation by a pre-Clovis culture.• Monte Verde, on the banks of Chinchihaupi Creek, is in the hills near the town of Puerto Montt, 500 miles south of Santiago.• found the remains of the ancient camp, even wood and other perishables that archeologists rarely find, remarkably well preserved by the water- saturated peat bog that covered the site, isolating the material from oxygen and thus decay.• They lived in shelters covered in animal hides.• They gathered berries in the spring, chestnuts in the fall and also ate potatoes, mushrooms and marsh grasses.• They hunted small game and also ancestors of the llama and sometimes went down to the Pacific, 30 miles away, for shellfish.• They were hunters and gatherers living far from the presumed home of their remote ancestors, in northeastern Asia.
• The evidence to support this picture is extensive. Excavations turned up wooden planks from some of the 12 huts that once stood in the camp, and logs with attached pieces of hide that probably insulated these shelters. Pieces of wooden poles and stakes were still tied with cords made of local grasses, a telling sign that ingenious humans had been there. "Thats something nature doesnt do," Barker said. "Tie overhand knots."
Clovis Culture-North America• Clovis is the name archaeologists have given to the earliest well-established human culture in the North American continent.• Clovis were the first big game hunters of the Paleoindian tradition, although they were probably not the first people in the American continents• Clovis archaeological sites are dated between 11,000- 10,800 RCYBP (which converts to circa 12,500-12,900 calendar years before the present) and they are found pretty much throughout North America. The point and culture are named after the town in New Mexico near where it was first identified
Clovis Culture-North America• Clovis Life Styles• big game hunters of megafauna, now extinct forms of large bodied animals like mammoth, bison, horse and camel, hunted using a highly mobile hunting strategy.• Environmental conditions at the time were dry, and it might be speculated that the Americans took up big game hunting (from the mixed hunter-gatherer-fisher strategy of pre-clovis) as an adaptation to drought. But, for whatever reason the people started hunting elephants and horses and bison, the big-game hunting strategy only lasted as long as there were big game to hunt.
Clovis Culture-The End• The end of the big game hunting strategy used by Clovis appears to have occurred very abruptly, sometime about 9,800 to 10,800 RCYBP. The reasons for the end of big game hunting is, of course, the end of big game: most of the megafauna disappeared about the same time.• Scholars are divided about why the big fauna disappeared, although currently they are leaning towards a natural disaster combined with climate change that killed off all the large animals. Its possible that the extinction was helped along by over-kills. Overkills are known from buffalo jumps at the Murray Springs and Head-Smashed-In sites, among others. A buffalo jump is when a herd of buffaloes are purposefully stampeded off a cliff; the hunters then butcher a few of the animals and leave the rest, usually with quite a bit of waste. But, there arent that many buffalo jumps and no elephant jumps, so, that kind of evidence is not strongly compelling.• One recent discussion of the natural disaster theory concerns the identification of a black mat marking the end of Clovis sites. This theory hypothesizes that an asteroid landed on the glacier that was covering Canada at the time and exploded causing fires to erupt all over the dry North American continent. An organic "black mat" is in evidence at many Clovis sites, which is interpreted by some scholars as ominous evidence of the disaster. Above the black mat are no more "clovis" sites.
Jomon culture-Japan 11,000 to 500 BCThe Jomon Culture is said tobe one of the most CHRONOLOGIES OF THE JOMON PERIOD POTTERYAFFLUENT FORAGER GENERALIZED JOMON PHASES Southwesterncultures to ever exist. CHRONOLOGY Kanto, Middle JomonThe "Jomon Culture" is Incipient 11,000-7500 Goryogadai I- Jomon B.C. IIgenerally distinguished from Earliest 7500-4000 Katsuzaka I-IIits Palaeolithic predecessor by Jomon B.C. 4000-3000 Early Jomon Katsuzaka IIIthe first appearance of Middle B.C. 3000-2000 Kasori E Ia-Ibpottery in the sites. Jomon B.C. 2000-1000But in fact the Late Jomon B.C. Kasori E II Latest Jomon 1000-500 B.C. Kasori E III-IVTRANSITION from the * All dates are based on uncalibrated radiocarbon age measurements.Palaeolithic culture to theJomon culture is very gradualand the "boundary" veryfuzzy.
• The Jomon is a pottery-using culture, a characteristic often associated with early farming cultures.• But throughout the approximately 10,000 years of its development, from around 11,000 B.C. to around 500 B.C., its SUBSISTENCE STRATEGY focused on hunting, fishing and gathering, including, in favorable regions, intensive shellfishing.• The degree of Jomon dependence on plants, land animals and fish varied greatly with time and space.• Hunting was primarily with the bow and arrow; fishing included the use of hooks and lines, nets and traps, and spears; and plant use included digging sticks for root plants, and grinders and querns for the many kinds of nuts that were utilized.• The Jomon people everywhere in Japan exploited an extremely wide range of land animals, fish, plants, molluscs and birds.• A highly generalized listing of the primary foods of the Jomon would give deer and boar, sea bream and sea perch, chestnuts, walnuts and acorns, and clams and oysters. Regionally, tuna and sea mammals were significant.• But the Jomon people used almost all available food plants and animals to some degree, taking a sustainable number of those things they preferred and using the rest to fill out their diet. Their diet was particularly rich in eastern Japan.
Jomon culture-Japan• Jomon VILLAGES are often said to be laid out with the conical thatched dwellings in a circular or horseshoe- shaped pattern, with an open plaza in the center.• These settlements are thought to have had 5-10 or more dwellings in use at any one time.• Such villages did exist in some regions and at some times, but they are not representative of the typical Jomon settlement site.• The typical site contained only a few dwellings with no apparent pattern to their distribution.• Some settlements had only one dwelling. The recently famous Sannai Maruyama site in Aomori is Circular huts - Jomon-era pit unique and not one that can be dwellings at Kabayama generalized to the whole of the Jomon culture.
Jomon culture-Japan• After a hole in the ground is dug out, wooden pillars are placed in the pit as supports and a thatched roof is bundled on top. Kabayama and the Sannai Maruyama sites are excellent examples of preserved Jomon communities. Reconstructed house Jomon pit house at Sannai Maruyama Site
Jomon culture-JapanFire pit inside a Jomon-era pit dwelling at Kabayama
Model of structure of Jomon pit houses• The typical Jomon house was pit house that had a main pillar, whose hole was dug the widest and deepest into the ground, that was surrounded by other wooden upright supporting posts.• Earlier houses tended to be conical or have floors that were circular.
Earlier Pit houses (reconstructed)This one has a smoking ditchbeside the entrance.(Reconstructed pit house, KushiroMarsh, Hokkaido)
(Reconstructed pit house, Tokyo Maibun Archaeological Center, Kawasaki City,Kanagawa)The roofs, supported by five or six posts and a central pillar, were thatched withkaya (miscanthus) grass that helped drain off rainwater into the surroundingditches.
Later pit houses became square withrounded off corners (Reconstructedpit house, Kushiro Marsh, Hokkaido)The earthen floors tamped hard, weresometimes sunk half a metre into theground, or sometimes covered inflagstone. Indoor fireplaces were common as were storage pits and smoking ditches.
Apart fromthe common pitdwelling houses,some settlementshadraised buildingsthat wereprobably storagehouses orwarehouses.Hundreds ofthese raisedstorage housesand more than800 pit houseswere found at thesite of the SannaiMaruyamavillage.
• The oldest piece of wood used in Jomon construction is reported to have been found in the Yokoo site in Oita prefecture is dated to 10,000 years ago.• The 3.8 meter-long piece of wood (had six circular joint holes in it about 3 centimeters in diameter and) is thought to be a roof beam from a house built on stilts.• Several other pieces of Jomon construction timber from the Oyabe site in Toyama prefecture dated to 4,500 years ago, revealed that the Jomon people were already using an advanced construction technique called watariago- shiguchi in Japanese.• The technique that joined building timbers together with a mortise and tennon joint into the form of a wooden cross, was used in the 7th century structure of the Horyuji Temple which is oldest surviving wooden building in the world.
• Woodworking was an important craft or skill for the Jomon people, used for making dugout canoes, wooden vessels and especially for building.• The Jomon people made wooden frames for the walls of storage pits and for the posts of their buildings.• They had learnt to use and work with many kinds of trees including chestnut, Japanese cedar tree (Cryptomeria japonica), mukunoki (Aphananthe aspera), inugaya (Cephalotaxus harringtonia), Japanese nutmeg (Torreya nucifera or kaya), camphor (Cinamonium camphora or kusunoki).
• Two famous types Stone circles of Late Jomon stone circles are seen:• The first type is the ―sundial‖ stone circle. It consists of one large upright stone in the center of a small stone cluster that had long stones placed in a radiating pattern.
Stone circles near Lake Saroma, Hokkaido The sites were burial marker sites or cemeteries since burial pits or graves have been excavated under some of the stone circles or near them. Success rites for hunting
These artifacts make scientists think magical rites or ceremonies were conducted at stone circles to improve the Jomon community’s chances of success in hunting, fishing or harvests. Many such stone circles are located in places where no pit dwellings have been found. That fact suggests to experts that the Jomon people gathered at the stone circles only for ritual gatherings at an appointed time.Top: Achiya stone circle site, Niigata Prefecture; Below: Ritual
Eynan and Ain Mallaha- Africa (10,000–8200 B.C. )• After the last Ice Age, as the climate became warmer and rainfall more abundant, the nomadic population of the eastern Mediterranean began to establish the first permanent settlements.• The site of Eynan/Ain Mallaha, situated between the hills of Galilee and Lake Hula in the Levant, was inhabited from 10,000 to 8200 B.C., during the Natufian period.• Eynan (in Hebrew)/Ain Mallaha (in Arabic) is one of hundreds of Natufian settlements known from the eastern Mediterranean, where remains of a rich and dynamic artistic tradition have been discovered.
• Jericho, well known for its defensive walls described in biblical accounts, is an important Natufian site that was discovered at about the same time as Eynan/Ain Mallaha.• The Natufians were the first people of the eastern Mediterranean area to establish permanent villages.• Prior to the Natufians, bands of people had moved seasonally, to follow animals for hunting and to gather available plants.• The Natufians, while still hunters and foragers, settled in villages year-round, relying on the natural resources of their immediate area. These resources included gazelle, wild cereals, and marine life.
• The latter, abundant in the region, was used for food as well as for making tools, art, and body ornamentation. Shells collected from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea were commonly used for jewelry and headdresses, typical status markers. The Natufians produced artistically decorated utilitarian objects such as pottery and ostrich-egg vessels. These objects have been found in scores of Natufian sites. Their decoration of geometric motifs almost surely served as a form of visual communication, perhaps to demonstrate ownership of the objects by an individual or to indicate affiliation with a particular group or geographic area.