Early Cultures and Architecture

Starting by very early ages of the history men were tend to look for the ways of living together which eventually led them to define areas for their clans whether temporary or permanent. The nature itself was free-handed enough for the primitive man with its caves to cater for the need of dwelling for the aim protect himself from a wild environment or shores and streams to feed himself. Interaction of human with nature and its representations through wall paintings gave those caves a meaning of a space and have the clues of how the space is primitively defined even if it was unconscious. In time, through hunting and gathering the need to dwelling transferred from caves to hut which is considered as the very base of architecture.

The hut is made through the materials in the regions where the early people lived so the materials may change but similar approaches can be observed. As a result of hunting they were in the need of a place which lets plenty amount of people to gather, a place to eat and another to sleep etc. All these altering needs gave rise to the differentiation of spaces; private rooms and communal ones, those open to everyone. Another factor shaping the spaces in ancient structures were rituals and beliefs. As observed in Göbeklitepe and similarly in Nabta Playa the structure itself is centered by an altar and around by the pillars with reliefs or carvings of scorpions, lions etc. Conversely, the several circular structures  found in Khirokitia have specific spaces for the religious rituals within themselves alike the rectangular shaped ones found in Çatalhöyük. The city in Çatalhötük involves many flat-roofed houses with no walkways and in where inhabitants should walk through the roofs to transport. Thus, this kind of a regulation forces them to make openings on the upper surfaces (on the ceilings) of spaces.

Stonehenge is treated as the peerless symbol of monumental architecture. It was made through two vertical giant stones and one horizontal giant stone on top of the two, creating a circular arrangement. It was used for different people for different purposes so that it has been changed from its original. However, so many usage of this circular construction surprises me since its an evidence shows up the fact that circular structures were highly favored one for early eras. Being open from the top is attributed to the astronomic examinations of ancient people and most probably used in agriculture. Redesigning of the Stonehenge for several times brings another point to the table, functionality which lets the monument to be used for many different purposes. On the contrary the temples found in Malta are closed from the top with a dom. Organization of the temples resembles the structure of Stonehenge which was also centered with a circle and surrounding circles pointing it like a passage way.

Reference:  A Global History of Architecture


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