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Reconstruction of a Neolithic hut

Reconstruction of a Neolithic hut

These open-air settlements consisted of dwellings made of wood, mud and plant materials, thus making efficient use of the natural resources in the surrounding area.

Numerous examples throughout the European Neolithic period show us the different types of dwellings used by the first agricultural communities in Europe which were, therefore, the first communities to be sedentary.

In the majority of cases, the only remaining elements are the holes made in the ground to anchor the wooden pillars that supported a roof made from plant materials. Both circular and rectangular shaped pillars were used.Evidence of these types of constructions has been found at sites including La Draga (Banyoles), Illeta dels Banyets (El Campello) and, closer to home, Freiximeno (Morella).

In La Valltorta there are numerous open-air lithic sites (called planells in Valencian), which possibly indicate areas that were occupied during the Neolithic period and where it is likely there were dwellings of this type.

Another way of understanding this type of housing is through ethnography. In the farmhouses found in the inland counties of Castellón, juniper wood has always been used for the parts of buildings that were to be the most exposed to the harshest weather conditions. And that is why this wood was used for the main construction elements in these Neolithic huts.

Many peoples and cultures in different parts of the world still live and interact with their environment in a similar way, using nature's resources efficiently and sustainably, and their example serves to give us an insight into ways of life that are different from our own, but from which we have a lot to learn.

Hut interior.

Malocas, communal houses of uncontacted indigenous peoples living in the Peruvian Amazon. There are more than a hundred uncontacted tribes in the world. Photo courtesy of Survival International. To learn more, scan the QR codes.