Before Architecture man had to rely on caves as a form of shelter. We know this from the many paintings that have been found from the Paleolithic period within the caves throughout France and Spain. (Figures 1-7, 1-8, 1-10). By finding these paintings we can learn a lot about man. We can tell what sort of tools they used in creating these dwellings, what they believed, and what animals roamed the earth at that time.
The first permanent dwelling we learn about is the mammoth bone house from 16,000 bce (figure 1-2). This was the beginning of Architecture for man. This was a huge step in the evolution of man. He no longer had to find a temporary place to live as he moved around. They could now have a place where they could settle and essentially create a home. From here villages would evolve.
Early Neolithic Architectural village homes were simple. Homes were built using a post and lintel style of construction. Structures were basic with two vertical beams holding up one horizontal beam (p.55). The dwellings were then covered with layers of flat stone in a technique called corbelling. In northern European villages, the people used a similar technique called wattle and daub which was a covering of woven branches. Within these interiors of these Neolithic homes archeologist have found full functional furnishings with places to sit and store things (figure1-16). The walls of these homes and the tombs found were often decorated with pictures that told stories giving archaeologist a bit of history. The homes created a sort of time capsule for the art inside. Many of the sculptures that we now have from this period were found in the remains of Neolithic homes and tombs (figures 1-22, 1-23). Pottery played a very important role in the daily lives of man. Pottery wasn't just a form of art, it was a tool. Without it, the people would have had nothing to store and carry water in. These vessels and bowls were used in cooking and eating as a functional tool (figure 1-23).