Log in

No account? Create an account
Butser Ancient Farm - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Butser Ancient Farm [May. 8th, 2015|06:39 pm]
Tony Grist
Ailz said she thought square buildings must have developed from round buildings but the man who was remaking the chalk floor in one of the houses said, no,  it was the other way. First we built square but then- having chopped down all the older trees- we had to start using immature ones- and you can only build strong with flimsy materials if you build in the round. Apparently Britain is the only part of Europe to develop round houses. Elsewhere the forests were bigger and they didn't run out of trees.

I'd seen round houses on TV but there's nothing like going inside one and walking around and taking a seat by the central fire. Round houses are welcoming.  They're cosy. It felt like coming home.

Tell you one thing, everybody in the iron age must have stunk of woodsmoke.

Iron age round houses

Neolithic long house

Prehistoric pig

[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2015-05-08 05:43 pm (UTC)
I've always wanted to sit inside a round house... But I believe you about the woodsmoke.

What a splendidly spotty pig.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-05-08 05:47 pm (UTC)
Butser- on the Hampshire-Sussex border- can't be that far from you. It's well worth a visit.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2015-05-08 06:17 pm (UTC)
Cool looking round houses.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-05-09 06:58 am (UTC)
And built on the latest scientific principles. Butser is experimental archaeology- with a team of people trying to work out exactly how things were done in prehistory.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: qatsi
2015-05-08 07:32 pm (UTC)
I imagine stinking of wood smoke was probably one of the better options for fragrances available at the time. Also might it have had a fumigative effect?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-05-09 06:56 am (UTC)
I should think both these things are true.

Wood smoke is a strong fragrance- but one of my favourites.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2015-05-09 12:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory about the square becoming round, but how does that explain the fact that over here in the Celtic fringe, the round houses were made of stone and were (as far as I know) always round until the Romans arrived and brought a new fashion for rectangular stone houses?
(Reply) (Thread)
From: artkouros
2015-05-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
I reckon wood smoke would be the least of your stinks. Coincidentally, I'm reading Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors by Peter Ackroyd. It mentions these delightful little houses. I also just finished a book about the history of salt, which would have been the fate for that little piggy.
The salt book also says that if a town in England ends in -wich, it was originally a salt producing area.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: porsupah
2015-05-09 02:44 pm (UTC)
The lack of any chimney hole in such dwellings struck us when visiting the Chiltern Open Air Museum recently. Wouldn't a bit of a thinning of the thatching by the apex serve to keep the air a bit less smoky? (Without, of course, opening the place up to the elements overly)

Quite an interesting place, actually - it covered dwellings from the Iron Age to the present day, with examples either constructed (as above) or painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick, giving a peculiar feel to the place, quite out of time, like The Village, but without any Rover. Intriguing, needless to say - I really ought to pull up a few example photos sometime, as I did manage to get a few reasonable shots.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: resonant
2015-05-09 09:24 pm (UTC)
rofl prehistoric pig
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: methodius
2015-05-10 05:09 am (UTC)
Nineteenth-century British missionaries in Southern Africa measured their success by the number of square houses they got people to build.

Round houses were taxed, square houses weren't -- the rationale was that square houses had to be built with imported European tools, so those who bought them paid customs duty, whereas no duty was paid on the tools used for building round houses.
(Reply) (Thread)