The luxury of a cozy house with your own bedroom, place to store and prepare food, relax for leisure, and endulge security is alienistic to the prehistoric world. The earliest forms of architecture focused solely on the basic necessities of the family. Shelters were made for nomadic lifestyles. Families did not dwell in areas for long due to the constant migration of their food sources and changing climate. Natural materials were collected to build the temporary structures: branches, mud, stone, leaves, and other plant materials. However, the most influential determinant in placement and choice of materials for a shelter depended on the seasons. For the summer months a breathable house to ventilate the interior was key, whereas the winter month destination of choice was a cave or shelter made of stone. Below are three examples of prehistoric seasonal shelters. The first two pictures (row one) show summer dwellings made of animal hide, sticks and mud. The third photo (row one) shows a collection of shelters constructed from a rocky hillside: perfect for wind reduction and insulation.
Not all structures of prehistoric architecture were solely built for the purpose of shelter. Most structures were designed and built to serve religious and otherwise ritualistic purpose. Furthermore with prehistoric architecture is the noteworthy depiction of the circle. A common and meaningful shape, circular arrangement of materials was of high priority to the first architectural forms. The circle was seen as a symbol of the sun, moon, energy, eternity, magic, astronomy, and circulation. Take the example of the Monoliths in Carnac, Brittany, France, better known as the Alignments of Carnac. Close to two thousand standing stones called menhirs were placed in circular rows toward the sea. Unbelievably, the Carnac stones have been predated to before the building of Stonehenge. The age differenciation is quite noticable between the two. Above are photos of the Alignments of Carnac (second row left) and Stonehenge (second row right).
Thanks for reading, designergirlee