What were ancient dwellings like? Houses in ancient Nazareth were built with a rough stone base and locally manufactured mud bricks. The roof structure was built with as little wood as possible since wood was costly. Nazareth's dwellings were most likely single-story, basic, and modest. There were no toilets, so people went to the nearby lake or open field for their needs.
People lived on the ground floor of their buildings and slept on the first floor. Homes had only one door and a small window. There was no such thing as a garage. People kept their valuable possessions in their homes. Homes had no closets or cabinets; everything was kept on display. Furniture was made of wood and probably didn't have any cushions on it either! Tableware was made of clay or glass and probably used for eating right out of the pot or bowl. Cooking tools were made from bronze or iron. Weapons were used for defense purposes only. No one knew about fire prevention back then!
In Nazareth, people lived an average life span. Children came when they were born and parents spent their old age waiting for them to grow up and leave home. There were no pensions nor social security system. If someone got sick, there was nothing anyone could do about it. People died from hunger, thirst, fever, or injuries cause by wars.
The house in the accompanying image is probably definitely nicer and larger than Mary and Joseph's home in Nazareth. Their home would have been constructed of mud brick rather than stone, with a courtyard and two or four rooms—a front room with an awning and a private chamber behind it—as well as potentially some food and animal storage rooms.
It has been suggested that the house was built for Jesus by his followers after his death. However, this is not certain since we do not know when or how he died. It is more likely that the story indicates that Jesus had many friends who were willing to help him out even after he left the temple area. He must have been well-known since they could afford a house like this.
Mary and Joseph would have lived in one of the rear rooms which would have had a curtain for privacy along with a shelf for their belongings. There would have been a clay floor covered by mats during most times of the year but not at night when it would have been easier to heat the house with a fire. There would also have been no water supply except what came from rain barrels attached to the roof. They would have had to go to town each day for water unless they used sand or dirt from somewhere near their house to fill jars for use throughout the year.
Nazareth at the time was mostly farmers who grew wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, and pomegranates.
Archaeologists researching in Nazareth, Jesus' hometown in modern-day Israel, have discovered a house dating from the first century that was thought to be where Jesus was raised by Mary and Joseph. The home was dug into a rocky slope and is partially composed of mortar-and-stone walls. It had three rooms—a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen—and was well equipped with lamps, pottery, and food remains such as olive oil and fish.
The findings are based on evidence found during an excavation conducted by a team from the University of Notre Dame and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The project's goal was to discover what life in ancient Nazareth was like and how it related to Jesus' life and ministry.
According to the researchers, the house was built around 10 B.C. and remained standing until A.D. 70, when it was destroyed in the Jewish revolt against Rome. The discovery of household items such as lamps and cooking pots helps date the construction of the home to between 5 B.C. and A.D. 50.
Jesus lived in this region all his life and according to the Gospels preached in its towns including Nazareth. Archaeologists say they believe Jesus may have also held meetings in this home in order to teach people about his message.
It had three rooms and a courtyard.
According to an article in Christianity Today, the researchers concluded that the home was "probably not built for commercial rent but rather served as a residence for members of the family." They noted that although it was not unusual at that time for people to live in caves or abandoned buildings, this home had been renovated and used extensively over its lifetime.
The study's lead author, Dr. Eilat Mazar, said the findings show that Jesus' family "was not only able to afford regular housing, but also seemed to prefer it to living in shelters." She added that the home "provides evidence of social status since it has been well preserved despite being located in a small rural village."
Jesus was born in Judea, which was then part of the Roman Empire. But after his death and resurrection, he became the focus of a global religion founded by Christians who lived in Rome and Greece. During the birth of Christ, King Herod ordered the slaughter of all boys younger than two years old in an attempt to kill him.
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. Even impoverished people resided in brick or stone dwellings during the late 17th century. They were far superior to timber buildings. Wooden buildings burned easily, which is why so many medieval towns have large tracts of land that are still forest-covered today.
People lived in two-story houses. The upper story had windows on all four sides for light and air. It could be any size from a small room to a large apartment. The lower floor was used for storage. In more affluent homes, this space might be finished with paneling and carpets.
Houses in 1600 were mostly made of wood. Only wealthy people lived in stone or brick buildings. Workers lived in tents or shacks made of wood or mud bricks. They never saw the inside of a house when they were working on a farm or construction site.
Tents were easy to set up and dismantle. If you needed them for only a few days, you could create them out of anything you had around the campground. Tents were usually made of a framework of poles stuck into the ground with ropes hanging between them. The walls were made of canvas or other waterproof material.
Shacks were similar to tents but they always had four walls.