Joshua Malinkovich

9/20/17

The Evolution of Houses

The Introduction of Housing to Humankind

It is speculated that the first rudimentary concept of housing was established in 8000 BCE. People in the Middle East made houses out of sun-dried bricks, which were made of mud.

The Inventor of Housing

It is not known who specifically invented the concept of housing, but one of the first cities speculated to use true houses in its cities was the city of Jericho. Mud dried bricks were used for construction, and the idea for this was seemingly developed around 8000 BCE. The reason that people began building houses at this time was because of the Agricultural Revolution, which occurred around 10,000 BCE. The use of agriculture allowed nomads to begin to settle down, which gave them the time and availability to create housing for all citizens of the city or civilization.

Modern Day Housing

These days, houses can be made out of many materials. They can be made of mud bricks, concrete, and even cardboard! The most popular materials for house construction are bricks. Some houses are made out of stone, since stone is a very durable material. The most modern buildings are made out of concrete, which is essentially just water, aggregate (sand/rock), and cement. Houses are made through a very long process. A foundation is dug out, and concrete is poured into footings, which support the walls of the house. Beams are also made to support the outside walls, and a frame is built that models what the house will be. Slabs are used to separate floors. Once those things are done, the walls are raised and a roof is placed onto the house.

Timeline

Mud-block housing in Jericho and other parts of the Middle East in 8000 BCE

Catal Huyuk adopts the same idea in 6000 BCE. People enter houses through openings in their roofs, and houses are built right next to each other. People ate on the roof of the house and even lived there sometimes. Poor families shared walls. Houses had 2 floors and stairs (occasionally).

In 2000 BCE, the Assyrians began making houses out of stone as well as bricks. Their houses had no windows, like the Mesopotamians, but their houses were fireproof. Since they were built out of stone, fire could not destroy the houses. The roofs were thick and were supported by beams. All buildings were rectangular.

In 700 and 600 BCE, the Greeks developed larger commonplace housing than ever seen before. They had windows, but they were placed very high in the house, and likely were not made for seeing outside. Bedrooms were placed on the second floor, and there were rooms specifically for kitchens and bathrooms. Tables and even couches were items of furniture that you could expect to see in somebody’s house.

In the 100s AD, Roman apartments, called insulae, were introduced to the poor. The buildings were up to 5 stories high, and housed up to 50 people. Though they accommodated so many people, they were ramshackle homes and did not hold up against disasters. Rich people lived in private homes, called domus, with their families. Bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and even entryways were commonplace amongst these houses. Storage rooms, pools, and even exercise rooms were options for the Roman houses. They were built of stone, plaster, and brick.

As of about 1848, modern housing was introduced. Modern houses are built of concrete, bricks, wood, stone, and many other materials. Houses can be large or small, depending on somebody’s financial status. Houses have all of the same rooms as the Romans did, and can be ranches (1 floor), townhouses (7 floors), modernistic, international, etc.

Why Were These Improvements Made?

Many of these improvements to housing were made for many reasons. One reason that houses changed so drastically over time is because of the discovery of new materials. Concrete would not have been an option in 8000 BCE, because it had not yet been discovered. Tools that we use for construction also could not have been used before they were invented, so houses would have had to be more rudimentary before engineering, architectural, and mathematical concepts for structures were introduced. One reason houses became larger is because of access to money. Some people were able to afford gigantic houses, so they were made.

Who Uses the Product?
Many people have houses, although not everybody does. Those that can afford houses generally have them, because shelter is vital for survival. Some people travel a lot, and choose to spend all of their nights in hotels, motels, RVs, yachts, or other such places where they can get access to beds on the go. Because of that, they do not need to buy houses.

Citations:

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