What Type of Houses Were Built in Ancient Times?

Houses have been a fundamental aspect of human life since ancient times. The architecture and design of houses have evolved over the years, from the simple huts made of mud and straw to the modern-day skyscrapers. In this article, we will delve into the types of houses that were built in ancient times.

Prehistoric Houses

In prehistoric times, humans lived in caves or constructed simple huts made of mud, stone, and thatch. These houses were often circular or rectangular in shape and had no windows. The roofs were thatched with straw or reed and the walls were made of interwoven branches coated with mud.

Ancient Egyptian Houses

In ancient Egypt, houses were built using sun-dried bricks made from mud and straw. The houses had flat roofs with small openings for ventilation.

The walls were decorated with paintings and hieroglyphics. Some houses had courtyards, which served as a gathering place for family members.

Roman Houses

Roman houses were grandiose structures built using stone and brick. They had columns, courtyards, and gardens.

The rooms were decorated with frescoes and mosaics. The wealthy Romans had villas outside the city with hot baths and swimming pools.

Greek Houses

Greek houses were built using stone or clay bricks with tiled roofs. They had an open courtyard called an atrium in the center of the house where family members gathered to socialize. Greek houses had multiple rooms such as a dining room (triclinium), bedrooms (andron), storage rooms (apothiki), etc.

Medieval Houses

Medieval houses varied depending on where they were built but most commonly used timber framing filled in with wattle-and-daub or brickwork plastered with mud or clay for walls. The roofs were steeply pitched and made of thatch or shingles. Medieval houses often had a central hearth for heating and cooking.

Chinese Houses

In ancient China, houses were built using wood, brick, or stone. The most common type of house was the courtyard house, which was built around a central courtyard.

The roofs were curved and tiled with overlapping tiles to prevent leaks. Chinese houses had intricate wood carvings and paintings on the walls.


In conclusion, the types of houses built in ancient times varied depending on the geographical location and cultural influences. From prehistoric huts to grandiose Roman villas, each type of house was unique in its own way. Understanding the architecture and design of these ancient houses gives us insight into how our ancestors lived their lives.