Neolithic long house

The Neolithic long house was a long, narrow timber dwelling built by the first farmers in Europe beginning at least as early as the period 5000 to 6000 BC.[1] They first appeared in central Europe in connection with the early Neolithic cultures such as the Linear Pottery culture or Cucuteni culture. This type of architecture represents the largest free-standing structure in the world in its era. Long houses are present across numerous regions and time periods in the archaeological record.

The long house was a rectangular structure, 5.5 to 7.0 m wide, of variable length, around 20 m up to 45 m. Outer walls were wattle-and-daub, sometimes alternating with split logs, with pitched, thatched roofs, supported by rows of poles, three across.[2] The exterior walls would have been quite short beneath the large roof. They were solid and massive, oak posts being preferred. Clay for the daub was dug from pits near the house, which were then used for storage. Extra posts at one end may indicate a partial second story. Some Linear Pottery culture houses were occupied for as long as 30 years.[3]

It is thought that these houses had no windows and only one doorway. The door was located at one end of the house. Internally, the house had one or two partitions creating up to three areas. Interpretations of the use of these areas vary. Working activities might be carried out in the better lit door end, the middle used for sleeping and eating and the end farthest from the door could have been used for grain storage. According to other view, the interior was divided in areas for sleeping, common life and a fenced enclosure at the back end for keeping animals.[3]

Twenty or thirty people could have lived in each house, with villages composed typically of five to eight houses. Exceptionally, nearly 30 longhouses in a fortified settlement (dating to 4300 BC, i.e., Late Linear Pottery culture) were revealed by excavations at Oslonki in Poland.[4][5]

AMK - Linearbandkeramik Modell Hienheim 3
Kelheim (Lower Bavaria). Archaeological Museum: Reconstruction of a settlement of the Linear pottery culture ( 5th millennium BC ) from Hienheim

Examples

The Balbridie timber house in what is present day Aberdeenshire, Scotland offers an outstanding example of these early timber structures. Archaeological excavations have revealed extant timber postholes that delineate the support pieces of the original structure. This site is strategically located in a fertile agricultural area along the River Dee very close to an ancient strategic ford of the river and also near an ancient timber trackway known as the Elsick Mounth.[6]

References

  • Rodney Castleden. 1987. The Stonehenge people. 282 pages
  • Gimbutas, Marija (1991). The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers (HarperSanFrancisco). ISBN 0-06-250368-5.
  • C. Michael Hogan. 2007. , Elsick Mounth, Megalithic Portal, ed A. Burnham
  • Marciniak, Arkadiusz (2005). Placing Animals in the Neolithic: Social Zooarchaeology of Prehistoric Farming Communities. Routledge Cavendish. ISBN 1-84472-092-6.
  • A. W. R. Whittle and Norman Yoffee, Europe in the Neolithic: The Creation of New Worlds, 1996, Cambridge University

Line notes

  1. ^ Rodney Castleden. 1987
  2. ^ The numbers are from Gimbutas (1991) pages 39–41. However, they are approximately the same as the numbers given by other researchers and can therefore be taken as true measurements within a tolerance.
  3. ^ a b Marciniak, Chapter 1.
  4. ^ "Archaeological Research at Oslonki, Poland". Princeton.edu. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  5. ^ "Linearbandkeramik Culture - The First Farmers of Europe". Archaeology.about.com. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2007
Balbridie

Balbridie is the site of a Neolithic long house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, situated on the south bank of the River Dee, east of Banchory. The site is one of the earliest known permanent Neolithic settlements in Scotland, dating from 3400—4000 BC. This is the largest Neolithic long house to be excavated in Britain. In a European context, Whittle has indicated the rarity of such large Neolithic timber houses, citing Balbridie, a hall in Cambridgeshire, and Fengate as a small set of such finds.Neolithic features found in a later excavation at Dreghorn included post holes indicating a large rectangular structure comparable to Balbridie.

Bare Island projectile point

The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.

Blue Bell Hill

Blue Bell Hill is a chalk hill between Maidstone and Rochester in the English county of Kent. It overlooks the River Medway and is part of the North Downs. Settlements on the hill include Walderslade; and Blue Bell Hill and Kit's Coty villages. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries much of the hill was quarried for chalk.It is a 5-hectare (12-acre) nature reserve which is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust. It is also part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Wouldham to Detling Escarpment Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I.A picnic area serves as a rest point for walkers on the North Downs Way which runs along the top of the hill whilst the prehistoric trackway of the Pilgrims' Way skirts its foot. A modern crematorium also surmounts the hill.

The A229 dual carriageway follows the route of a former Roman road and climbs the hill, today linking the M2 and M20 motorways. High Speed 1 also runs beneath the hill, via the North Downs Tunnel, and archaeological work in advance of it uncovered a Neolithic long house on its slopes. The Bluebell Hill transmitting station is located on the hill, as is the Lower Bell pub.

Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Dudești culture

The Dudeşti culture is a farming/herding culture that occupied part of Romania in the 6th millennium BC, typified by semi-subterranean habitations (Zemlyanki) on the edges of low plateaus. This culture contributed to the origin of both the subsequent Hamangia culture and the Boian culture. It was named after Dudeşti, a quarter in the southeast of Bucharest.

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

Longhouse

A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building built by peoples in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America.

Many were built from timber and often represent the earliest form of permanent structure in many cultures. Types include the Neolithic long house of Europe, the stone Medieval Dartmoor longhouse which also housed livestock, and the various types of longhouses built by different cultures among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Neolithic architecture

Neolithic architecture refers to structures encompassing housing and shelter from approximately 10,000 to 2,000 BC, the Neolithic period. In southwest Asia, Neolithic cultures appear soon after 10,000 BC, initially in the Levant (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) and from there into the east and west. Early Neolithic structures and buildings can be found in southeast Anatolia, Syria, and Iraq by 8,000 BC with agriculture societies first appearing in southeast Europe by 7,000 BC, and central Europe by ca. 5,500 BC (of which the earliest cultural complexes include the Starčevo-Koros (Cris), Linearbandkeramic, and Vinča.

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Plano point

In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.

They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.

Racloir

In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.

It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.

Tisza culture

The Tisza culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture of the Alföld plain in modern-day Hungary, Western Romania, Eastern Slovakia and Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast in Central Europe. The culture is dated to the 5th and 4th millennia BCE.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.

Tor enclosure

A tor enclosure is a prehistoric monument found in the southwestern part of Great Britain. These monuments emerged around 4000 BC in the early

Neolithic.

Uniface

In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Yubetsu technique

The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.

The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.

To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.

This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.

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