Dugout (shelter)

A dugout or dug-out, also known as a pit-house or earth lodge, is a shelter for humans or domesticated animals and livestock based on a hole or depression dug into the ground. Dugouts can be fully recessed into the earth, with a flat roof covered by ground, or dug into a hillside. They can also be semi-recessed, with a constructed wood or sod roof standing out. These structures are one of the most ancient types of human housing known to archaeologists, and the same methods have evolved into modern "earth shelter" technology.

Dugouts may also be temporary shelters constructed as an aid to specific activities, e.g., concealment and protection during warfare or shelter while hunting.

Dugout home2
Dugout home near Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940



First driven underground by enemies who invaded their country, the Berbers of Matmata found underground homes the best defense against summer heat.

Asia and the Pacific


Queensland State Archives 3207 Blacks Dugout Tinnenburra c 1910
An Indigenous Australian dugout near Cunnamulla, Queensland around 1910

Burra in South Australia's Mid-North region was the site of the famous 'Monster Mine' (copper) and home to 4,400 people in 1851, 1,800 of whom were living in dugouts in the Burra Creek. Census data from 1851 shows that nearly 80 percent of the workers living in the dugouts were miners, with probably the majority being Cornish. Floods and the Victorian gold rush effectively ended the large scale use of dugouts in Burra, but people were still being 'washed' out of the creek in 1859.[1]

Coober Pedy is a small outback town in northern South Australia, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway, where opal mining is the dominant industry. Most residents live in caves excavated[2] into the hillsides to avoid the harsh summer temperatures and work underground in mine shafts. White Cliffs, New South Wales is similar, in terms of climate, housing, and mining operations.


In north China, especially on the Loess Plateau, caves called yaodongs dug into hillsides have been the traditional dwellings from early times. The advantage of a yaodong over an ordinary house is that it needs little heating in winter and no cooling in summer. An estimated 40 million people in northern China live in a yaodong. Many people live in semi-recessed dugout houses in north-western China where hot summer and cold winters prevail.[3]


Yoshinogari-iseki tateanashiki-juukyo
Yoshinogari site

In the Early Jōmon period of Japanese pre-history (10,000 to 300 BC) complex pit houses were the most commonly used method of housing.[4]

Middle East


During the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Jews used an intricate system of man-made hideout complexes, prepared well in advance of the onset of the revolt. Many such sites were discovered in Judaea and the Galilee, for instance at Horvat 'Ethri.

Turkey (Cappadocia)

Cappadocia contains at least 36 historical underground cities, carved out of unusual geological formations formed via the eruptions of ancient volcanoes.[5] The cities were initially inhabited by the Hittites, then later by early Christians as hiding places. They are now archeological and tourist sites, but are not generally occupied (see Kaymaklı Underground City). The latest large Turkish underground city was discovered in 2007 in Gaziemir, Güzelyurt. This city was a stopover on the Silk Road, allowing travelers and their camels to rest in safety, underground, in a 'fortress' hotel equivalent to a modern hotel.


Plaggenhut - Themapark de Spitkeet, Harkema
A "plaggenhut" in the Netherlands in Themepark de Spitkeet, Harkema


The well-preserved cave towns of Crimea are Mangup-Kale, Eski-Kermen, Inkerman and Chufut-Kale. The settlement of Mangup-Kale dates back to the 3rd century AD and was fortified by Justinian I in the mid 6th century. It was inhabited and governed primarily by Crimean Goths, and became the center of their autonomous principality. The last inhabitants, a small community of Karaims, abandoned the site in the 1790s.


In Iceland, since time immemorial and well into the 20th century, most houses were partly dug down, with turf or sod walls built up and roofs made of timber and turf/sod. Turf was used because timber was scarce and expensive, and stone not practical before the advent of concrete.


Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning "stones of Matera"), which is UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. The Sassi are houses dug into the volcanic rock itself, known locally as "Tufo", which is characteristic of Basilicata and Apulia.


In the Netherlands the dugout (Dutch: plaggenhut) was banned by the housing safety law of 1901. In some areas in the east the country, people lived in dugouts into the 1960s. Dutch dugouts are constructed around an excavated pit with a roof made from heather sod, and front and back walls made from slabs of peat. Peat diggers and their families lived in these, in life-shortening conditions of poverty, damp and insect infestation. A small number of these huts survive, and can be seen in the open air museums of Arnhem, Schoonoord, Barger-Compascuum and Harkema. Modernized dugouts are available as tourist accommodation in several locations.

Poland (Mazovia)

Dugouts called ziemianka were used as stores for food.


In ancient Scotland, earth houses, also known as yird, Weems and Picts' houses, were underground dwellings, extant even after the Roman evacuation of Britain. Entry was effected by a passage not much wider than a fox burrow, which sloped downwards 10 or 12 ft. to the floor of the house; the inside was oval in shape, and was walled with overlapping rough stone slabs; the roof frequently reached to within a foot of the Earth's surface; they probably served as storehouses, winter quarters, and as places of refuge in times of war. Similar dwellings are found in Ireland.


In Serbia they are called zemunica. Also, the town of Zemun derived its name from Zemln, which is akin to zemunica.


The most famous feature of the town of Guadix is the cave dwellings in the Barrio.

World War I

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 - Zonnebeke Church Dugout model
Zonnebeke church dugout constructed by 171st Tunnelling Company in 1918 (model)
Interior of George Denniston's dug-out, Gallipoli, Turkey, 1915
Interior of dugout, Gallipoli, 1915
German dugout steps Bernafay Wood Somme 1916 IWM Q 4307
Steps leading down to a German deep dugout at Bernafay Wood, near Montauban, used in the Battle of the Somme, 1916

Dugouts were used extensively as protection from shelling during World War I in the Western Front. They were an important part of the trench warfare as they were used as an area to rest and carry out other activities such as eating. They would usually range in size from dugouts that could hold several men to dugouts that could hold thousands of soldiers. Some sophisticated dugouts, such as the Vampire dugout, were placed more than 10 metres (33 ft) underground, lined with concrete, wood and steel to withstand the shock of artillery, accessed via a set of wooden stairs.

About 180 dugout sites have been located in the Ypres Salient and in the 1990s some of them were entered, at least in part.[6] The level of activity can be gauged by the fact that during 1917 and 1918, more people lived underground in the Ypres area than reside in the town today.[7]

World War II zemlyankas

Zemljamka nedaleko Nýrova
Zemlyanka used by partisans near Nýrov, Czech Republic, preserved as a WWII memorial

In World War II, partisans, or armed resistance fighters in Eastern Europe sometimes lived in dugouts called zemlyankas (Russian or Ukrainian: Землянка) which were used as underground bunkers to provide shelter and a hiding place from enemies.[8] In Poland they were called ziemianki.

North America

Many of the ancient peoples of the American continents built semi-permanent houses of poles and brush plastered with mud over a shallow pit in the earth. As these pithouses were very similar to those first built in northeastern Europe 25,000 years ago, pithouse technology may have been carried to the Americas by early nomadic settlers, traveling first through Siberia, and then across the ice bridge between Asia and North America about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago.

An individual pithouse was occupied for an average of about 15 years. By more modern standards, these dwellings were cramped and dark. The centralized hearth created a smoky, cold environment during the winter. Most pithouses are associated with an open air plaza or rooftop where inhabitants carried out most of their daily activities during good weather. In areas suitable for intensive agriculture, groups of pithouses clustered to create communities of varying sizes.

British Columbia and American Northwest

In the Interior Plateau of the British Columbia and in the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest the remains of a form of pit-house called a quiggly hole or kekuli are common, and come in large groups named quiggly towns, which are correspondingly the remains of ancient villages.

Canadian Prairies

The Doukhobor Dugout House in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008. Although today it is the only known partially surviving example of this type of shelter, it was one of many such dugout houses constructed by Doukhobors upon arrival in Canada, and a form of shelter used by many settlers of various ethnicities upon their arrival on the prairies.[9]

American Southwest

Pithouses were very common structures in the American Southwest during the early and middle periods of the Anasazi, Mogollon and Hohokam cultures, and were also found in cultures extending north and west of the Colorado plateau. The emergence of the pithouse marks the transition between a nomadic hunting-and-gathering livelihood and a settled agricultural way of life which also relied on wild plants and animals for food. Pithouse structures were probably the forerunners of the kivas built later in the Pueblo periods, and share many characteristics with them.

Although the architectural styles used by these people evolved throughout their history, the pithouse remained a basic residential structure. Pithouses are found in isolated rural settings, in conjunction with above ground dwellings and adjacent to the large multi-room cliff dwellings characteristic of the region. Historian Linda Cordell notes that ...the late pithouses are often clues to relatively short-term changes in settlement location and adjustment to climatic fluctuations. (Cordell, p. 164) This appears to be true among the modern Pueblo peoples as well. When the Hopi village of Bacavi was founded in 1909, some groups of people arrived in the late autumn. As there was a limited window of time for building, the new arrivals built pithouses as warm shelters for the winter. Some of these homes remained occupied until the 1970s.

Pithouses were built by excavating a well defined hole into the ground, usually around 6" to 18" deep but occasionally as deep as four to five feet, and creating walls and roof using a pole and adobe technology. The sunken floor of the dwelling is below the frost line and helps moderate both winter and summer temperatures, with the mass of the ground serving as an insulator. In addition, adobe walls gather heat during the day and release it when temperatures drop. The earliest pithouses were round, and varied in size between nine and twenty-five feet in diameter. Around 700, pithouse designs became more individualized. Excavations reveal examples based on squares, rectangles and shapes similar to the letter D.

Pithouse at Step House Mesa Verde 1
A reconstruction shows the pit dug below ground, four supporting posts, roof structure as a layers of wood and mud, and entry through the roof; Step House ruins at Mesa Verde National Park.

These homes were also warmed by a centralized hearth, a fire pit with an air deflector, and side vents and a smoke hole in the roof provided fresh air and evacuated smoke. The placement of the home's entrance varied by locality and archaeological period. Early homes utilized the ventilation stack as an egress by means of a ladder. Later homes expanded the pit into a keyhole shape to create a low sheltered entrance. Interior space was often loosely divided into two rooms, one for storing personal and dry goods and the other as living quarters. Many pithouses included an antechamber, containing storage bins or pits.

Pithouse construction was usually based on four corner posts positioned upright in the pit. These posts were carefully chosen and trimmed to create a branch or fork at the top as a structural support. They were joined by horizontal beams and crossed with ceiling joists. The interior sides of the pit were plastered with clay or lined with stone — either large slabs wedged upright in the soil or courses of smaller stones. The exterior of the pithouse was formed of branches, packed tree bark, or brush and grass. A thick layer of mud on the outside of the roof and walls protected the shelter from the weather. Often the initial mud layer was carefully plastered with a lighter colored clay.

A large number of pithouses have been archaeologically excavated throughout the American Southwest. Reproductions of these basic family structures exist in museums and tourist information sites, such as the structure at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. National and state parks and monuments showcase pithouse ruins and may include authentic reconstructions such as the Ancient Pueblo structure at Step House ruin, Mesa Verde National Park, Fremont Indian State Park in Utah, and a Hohokam structure at the Hardy Site in Tucson, Arizona.

Sod houses

During the American Civil War, the federal United States government passed the Homestead Act offering free land for those who could "prove up" their claims by living on the land and farming it for a prescribed number of years. Settlers on the newly opened Great Plains found there were not enough trees to build familiar log cabins. As shelter was essential, the frontier farmer utilized ribbons of the thick prairie sod cut as they plowed their virgin land. The strip could be cut into two foot sections, four to six inches deep, to make an almost perfect building block with good insulating properties.

These first homes, often called soddies, were small rooms dug into the side of a low rolling hill. The walls were built up with sod blocks to a height of seven or eight feet. Holes were left for purchased doors and windows hauled from the nearest town or railhead. Cottonwood poles were laid side by side to form a support for a roof made of a thick layer of coarse prairie grass. Over this was carefully fitted a double layer of the sod building blocks. Rain helped the sod to grow and soon the dugout roof was covered with waving grass. Some frontier families found that their cows grazed on their roof, and occasionally had them fall through.[10]

The floor of the dugout home was of dirt or rough wooden planks. Walls were lined with newspapers pasted or pinned up with small, sharpened sticks to keep dirt from flaking into the home's interior. Some families used fabric on their walls while others created a plaster coating from local limestone and sand. Some were carpeted and other variations included building on a second room for school teachers or guests. Heating could be provided by burning buffalo chips or cow chips.[11] The home's comfort and structural stability were maximized when the structure was located on the south side of a low hill, with adequate drainage to provide run-off for rain and melting snow. Most pioneer dugouts had a short lifespan, being replaced by plank or rock homes when farmers had time and money to create larger, more traditional homes. When a family built a house of logs or boards, their domestic animals often continued to be sheltered in a sod dugout.


In frontier Canada and the United States, dugout style shelters were also used by pioneers and settlers from Europe. In these cases, the shelter's construction closely reflected the architecture of the various settlers' origins. They ranged from the French-Canadian–style sod houses called caveaux[12] to the burdeis built by Ukrainian immigrants. The burdei was intended as a temporary refuge until a "proper" home of poplar logs and mud/straw plaster could be built.[13] Mennonites from Imperial Russia also built burdeis as temporary shelters when they settled in the Hillsboro region of Kansas.[14]

See also

Parent categories:

Types of dugouts and other related topics:


  1. ^ Auhl, I. 1986. The Story of the 'Monster Mine': the Burra Burra Mine and its Townships 1845-1877. Investigator Press Pty. Ltd. Chapter 12.
  2. ^ "Document". Archived from the original on September 19, 2004. Retrieved 2007-09-11.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Chinese Earth Shelter Dwellings: By Paul Long.
  4. ^ ^ Early Jomon hamlet found Retrieved January 2007
  5. ^ Underground Cities Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Activities of The Diggers - Restoration of the Yorkshire Trench & Dug-out, access date 10 July 2015
  7. ^ Jasper Conning (2007-08-27). "First World War tunnels to yield their secrets". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  8. ^ Virtual Zemlyanka Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
  9. ^ Doukhobor Dugout House. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  10. ^ Chapter 2: Frontier Homes
  11. ^ Pioneer Dugout - Texas Historical Marker.
  12. ^ Les communautés francophones et leur histoire>> Centre Nord>> Legal ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  13. ^ Lehr, John C (1992). "Ukrainians in Western Canada". In Allen G Noble (ed.). To build in a new land : ethnic landscapes in North America. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. pp. 309–30. ISBN 978-0-8018-4189-7.
  14. ^ "A Short History of the Mennonite Immigration to Kansas" Archived August 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at the Hillsboro museum web site


  • Cordell, Linda S. Ancient Pueblo Peoples. St. Remy Press, Montreal and Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C., 1994. ISBN 0-89599-038-5
  • Rohn, Arthur H. and Ferguson, William M, 2006, Puebloan Ruins of the Southwest, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque NM, ISBN 0-8263-3970-0 (pbk. : alk. paper). Pithouse architecture is discussed on pp. 30–33. Animage similar to the above reconstruction appears on p. 32.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.

Further reading

  • Cass G. Barns, The Sod House (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1930).
  • Donald E. Green, ed., Rural Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1977).
  • Everett Dick, Conquering the Great American Desert (Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society,1975).
  • Grant Foreman, A History of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1945).
  • LeRoy R. Hafen and Carl Coke Rister, Western America: The Exploration, Settlement, and Development of the Region Beyond the Mississippi (New York: * Prentice-Hall, 1941).
  • Veda Giezentanner, "In Dugouts and Sod Houses, " The Chronicles of Oklahoma 39 (Summer 1961).
  • English Literature

External links


A burdei or bordei (Romanian: bordei, Ukrainian: бурдей) is a type of half-dugout shelter, somewhat between a sod house and a log cabin. This style is native to the Carpathian Mountains and forest steppes of eastern Europe.

Carson County Square House Museum

The Carson County Square House Museum is located at the intersection of Texas State Highway 207 and Fifth Street in the city of Panhandle, in the county of Carson, in the U.S. state of Texas. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Carson County, Texas. It is the oldest house in the city.


Dugout may refer to:

Dugout (shelter), an underground shelter

Dugout (boat), a logboat

Dugout (smoking), a marijuana container

Greased paper window

A greased paper window is a very inexpensive window made of paper coated in grease. The grease fills gaps between the paper fibers, reducing the amount of light lost to scattering. Greased paper windows provide a diffuse light source, while blocking wind and preventing insects and other small animals from entering a structure.Greased paper windows were often used by American pioneers of the early 1800s and other itinerant peoples, in lieu of relatively expensive traditional glass windows. Laura Ingalls Wilder recalled living in a home with a greased paper window in her 1937 children's novel, On the Banks of Plum Creek.

History of Kumamoto Prefecture

The history of Kumamoto Prefecture has been documented from paleolithic times to the present. Kumamoto Prefecture is the eastern half of Hinokuni (meaning "land of fire"), and corresponds to what was once called Higo Province. Exceptions are the part of Kuma District, which had once been part of Sagara Domain, and Nagashima which was included in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Kumamoto Prefecture is roughly divided into three areas, namely, the northern area with Kikuchi River, Shirakawa River and Mount Aso Area; the Kumagawa Area including the Hitoyoshi Basin and the Amakusa Island Area. The first one is the Kumamoto han, and the second the Hitoyoshi han and the third one is the Amakusa Area, once controlled by the Tokugawa shogunate.

The history of Kumamoto is characterized by kofuns in natural beauties or volcanic activities, the ritsuryō and the following rise of samurais, the arrival of Katō Kiyomasa from Nagoya, wars around the Bakumatsu including the Satsuma Rebellion, and public problems concerning Minamata disease. After the establishment of the Yamato Government or Yamato Ouken, the history of Kumamoto has been constantly under the influence of the Central Government.

History of Miyazaki Prefecture

This is an outline of the history of Miyazaki Prefecture.

Index of environmental articles

The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, includes all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth.

The natural environment includes complete ecological units that function as natural systems without massive human intervention, including all vegetation, animals, microorganisms, soil, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena that occur within their boundaries. Also part of the natural environment is universal natural resources and physical phenomena that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water, and climate.


A pit-house (or pithouse) is a building that is partly dug into the ground, and covered by a roof. Besides providing shelter from extremes of weather, these structures may also be used to store food (just like a pantry, a larder, or a root cellar) and for cultural activities like the telling of stories, dancing, singing and celebrations. General dictionaries also describe a pit-house as a dugout, and it has similarities to a half-dugout.In archaeology, a pit-house is frequently called a sunken featured building and occasionally (grub-)hut or grubhouse, after the German name Grubenhaus They are found in numerous cultures around the world, including the people of the American Southwest, the ancestral Pueblo, the ancient Fremont and Mogollon cultures, the Cherokee, the Inuit, the people of the Plateau, and archaic residents of Wyoming (Smith 2003) in North America; Archaic residents of the Lake Titicaca Basin (Craig 2005) in South America; Anglo-Saxons in Europe; and the Jōmon people in Japan. Anglo-Saxon pit-houses may have actually represented buildings for other functions than just dwellings.

Usually, all that remains of the ancient pit-house is a dug-out hollow in the ground and any postholes used to support the roof. In the nineteenth century, it was believed that most prehistoric peoples lived in pit-houses, although it has since been proved that many of the features thought of as houses were in fact food prehistoric storage pits or served another purpose.

Plemons, Texas

Plemons is a ghost town in Hutchinson County, in the U.S. state of Texas. It is located 10 miles southeast of Stinnett, and 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Borger, on Plemons Road, just north of the juncture of County Road R.

Quiggly hole

A quiggly hole, also known as a pit-house or simply as a quiggly or kekuli, is the remains of an earth lodge built by the First Nations people of the Interior of British Columbia and the Columbia Plateau in the U.S. The word quiggly comes from kick willy or keekwulee, the Chinook Jargon word for "beneath" or "under".

Rock-cut architecture

Rock-cut architecture is the creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock where it naturally occurs. Rock-cut architecture is designed and made by man from the start to finish. In India and China, the terms 'cave' and 'cavern' are often applied to this form of man-made architecture. However, caves and caverns, that began in natural form, are not considered to be 'rock-cut architecture' even if extensively modified. Although rock-cut structures differ from traditionally built structures in many ways, many rock-cut structures are made to replicate the facade or interior of traditional architectural forms. Interiors were usually carved out by starting at the roof of the planned space and then working downward. This technique prevents stones falling on workers below. The three main uses of rock-cut architecture were temples (like those in India), tombs (like those in Petra, Jordan) and cave dwellings (like those in Cappadocia, Turkey).

Some rock-cut architecture, mostly for tombs, is excavated entirely in chambers under the surface of relatively level rock. If the excavation is instead made into the side of a cliff or steep slope, there can be an impressive facade, as found in Lycian tombs, Petra, Ajanta and elsewhere. The most laborious and impressive rock-cut architecture is the excavation of tall free-standing monolithic structures entirely below the surface level of the surrounding rock, in a large excavated hole around the structure. Ellora in India and Lalibela in Ethiopia (built by the Zagwe dynasty) provide the most spectacular and famous examples of such structures.

Rock-cut architecture, though intensely laborious with ancient tools and methods, was presumably combined with quarrying the rock for use elsewhere; the huge amounts of stone removed have normally vanished from the site. Rock-cut architecture is also said to be cut, hewn, etc., "from the living rock". Another term sometimes associated with rock-cut architecture is monolithic architecture, which is rather applied to free-standing structures made of a single piece of material. Monolithic architecture is often rock-cut architecture (e.g. Ellora Kailasanathar Temple) but monolithic structures might be also cast of artificial material, e.g. concrete.

The Gommateshwara statue (Bahubali), the largest monolithic statue in the world, at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India, was built in 983 AD and was carved from a large single block of granite. In many parts of the world there are also rock reliefs, relief sculptures carved into rock faces, outside caves or at other sites.

Sod house

The sod house or "soddy" was an often used alternative to the log cabin during frontier settlement of the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. Primarily used at first for animal shelters, corrals and fences, if the prairie lacked standard building materials such as wood or stone, or the poverty of the settlers precluded purchasing standard building materials, sod from thickly-rooted prairie grass was abundant, free, and could be used for house construction. Prairie grass has a much thicker, tougher root structure than a modern lawn.

A type in Alaska is a barabara.

Construction of a sod house involved cutting patches of sod in rectangles, often 2'×1'×6" (60×30×15 cm), and piling them into walls. Builders employed a variety of roofing methods. Sod houses accommodated normal doors and windows. The resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to build than a wood frame house. However, sod houses required frequent maintenance and were often vulnerable to rain damage, especially if the roof was also primarily of sod. Stucco was sometimes used to protect the outer walls. Canvas or stucco often lined the interior walls.

While the influence of the sod house cannot be overlooked, stone or timber was preferred when available. In addition, where railroads existed, framed houses and buildings were used extensively during the settlement period.

Subterranea (geography)

Subterranea refers to underground structures, both natural (such as caves) and man-made (such as mines). Some subterranea and related topics include:



Ice cave




Lava tube

Lunar and Martian lava tubes

Subterranean river

Subterranean waterfall

Underground lake

Volcanic pipeMan-made, man-related:


Burial vault (tomb)



Cave dweller, Underground living

Cave temple



Dugout (shelter)



Rock cut architecture, rock-cut tomb

Smuggling tunnel

Tunnels (street tunnel, train tunnels)

Underground city, umbrella article for underground dwellings and facilities

Underground rapid transit system

Wine cave

Underground living

Underground living refers to living below the ground's surface, whether in naturally occurring caves or in built structures. Underground dwellings are an alternative to above-ground dwellings for some home seekers, including those who are looking to minimize impact on the environment. Factories and office buildings can benefit from underground facilities for many of the same reasons as underground dwellings such as noise abatement, energy use, and security.

Some advantages of underground houses include resistance to severe weather, quiet living space, an unobtrusive presence in the surrounding landscape, and a nearly constant interior temperature due to the natural insulating properties of the surrounding earth. One appeal is the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of underground dwellings. However, underground living does have certain disadvantages, such as the potential for flooding, which in some cases may require special pumping systems to be installed.

It is the preferred mode of housing to communities in such extreme environments as Italy's Sassi di Matera, Australia's Coober Pedy, Berber caves as those in Matmâta, Tunisia, and even Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.

Often, underground living structures are not entirely underground; typically, they can be exposed on one side when built into a hill. This exposure can significantly improve interior lighting, although at the expense of greater exposure to the elements.

Hut dwelling designs and semi-permanent human shelters
Traditional immobile
Traditional mobile
Named huts
Related topics

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