What were ancient dwellings like? Houses in ancient Nazareth were built with a rough stone base and locally manufactured mud bricks. Because wood was pricey, just a little amount of it was utilized in the roof framework. Nazareth's dwellings were most likely single-story, basic, and modest. There were no windows and only one door for every house.
Biblical houses had very different designs than modern houses. But there are some similarities between them. Both houses and bathrooms were usually located on the ground floor. Bedrooms were often separated from living rooms by a wall or partition.
Houses in ancient Israel were generally made of clay and straw with some wooden beams for support. They typically had two stories with five rooms on each floor. The wealthy had more spacious homes with room for guests. Others lived in much smaller homes with only one room per family.
In Egypt, the Pharaohs lived in huge palace that could have hundreds of rooms. Their homes were mostly made of stone but also included wooden parts.
In Bible times, most people lived in simple shelters made of wood or clay. Some had nothing else except the sky above them and the earth beneath their feet. Most poor people lived in tents while others lived in huts made of sticks and cloth.
People in rich countries lived in tall buildings with many rooms.
The house in the accompanying image is nearly definitely nicer and larger than Mary and Joseph's home in Nazareth. Their home would have been built of mud brick rather than stone, with a courtyard and two or four rooms—a front chamber with an awning, a private room behind it, and probably some food and animal storage rooms. It would not have been very different from other homes like it in the region.
Jesus' birth date was determined long before any evidence for his existence had been discovered. Historians have always known when Jesus was born because the Gospels report it: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." His birth was observed by many people, including the magi who visited him after he was born. They saw the signs in the heavens that indicated that a king would be born in Israel and decided to go back to their countries to tell their rulers that someone great was born.
Bethlehem is mentioned several times in the New Testament. It was where David lived when he was crowned king of Israel (2 Samuel 6:14). The town was also where Abraham lived when he was called up to meet God (Luke 2:4). And finally, it was here that Jesus was born (Matthew 2:6).
Ordinary people's dwellings in the Middle Ages were often composed of wood. However, several were erected or rebuilt in stone or brick in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. By the late 17th century, even the poorest people were generally living in brick or stone dwellings. They were far superior to timber dwellings. Wooden buildings were used by the poor and those without wealth.
House styles changed as building techniques improved and architects created new designs. The large country houses built in England around 1600 are regarded as a major advance over earlier buildings. These grand houses were made up of many rooms, some divided into separate apartments, with functional but extravagant decoration. In smaller towns and villages, house prices reflected their size: expensive houses could be seen outside churches and public buildings in larger cities such as London.
People lived in houses they owned or rented. If they could not afford to buy a house, they might rent one from someone who did. Renting was also popular among the wealthy. A landlord would advertise available rooms in his building and people would sign long-term contracts to rent them. If the tenant did not pay the rent, the landlord had the right to throw him out.
House prices were based on three main factors: location, size and architecture. Smaller houses were cheaper than larger ones of the same style and construction. Houses near shops, schools and other amenities were more expensive than others that were less convenient to find work or school.
The dwellings' walls were made of crudely hewn stone blocks, and the roof (5) was made of wooden beams covered with layers of branches and smoothed down clay. Throughout the Iron Age, this type of home was exceedingly widespread, particularly in the region of Israel and Judah. It may be assumed that most if not all wealthy people lived in fortified cities or towns.
During the period from the establishment of the monarchy to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, large numbers of new buildings were constructed in Israel. Some of these may have been private homes but many more probably were temples or religious institutions. The Bible tells us that Solomon built a temple for God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 3:1). That temple is the first known building in Israel. Many other religious sites also were erected during this time.
It is difficult to estimate how many houses there were in ancient Israel because we know so little about their lives. We do know that families usually had one house where they lived and another place called an "ohel" (or tent) where they would live when they went out camping. Sometimes ohels were used as temporary shelters while the family waited for help to come build them a permanent home.
Ancient writers such as Moses and Joshua describe battles that they participated in.
Homes in ancient Greece were designed to be built around a courtyard or garden. The walls were frequently composed of wood and mud bricks. They had little windows without glass but with wooden shutters to keep the blazing sun out. There wasn't much furniture inside. People slept on mats on the floor.
The rich used marble for their floors and walls. They also had gold and silver utensils, statues, and paintings on display. The middle class lived in homes that were made of stone or wood. They didn't have as many amenities as the rich but they could still enjoy hot meals and comfortable beds every night. The poor lived in shelters made of sticks and clay. Sometimes they even lived in the streets since there was no room anywhere else for them to live.
In conclusion, houses in ancient Greece were simple structures used for shelter that everyone shared together. Most people didn't have personal rooms so it didn't matter what kind of house they lived in.