The oldest archaeological evidence of home construction comes from Tanzania's famed Oldupai Gorge (also known as Olduvai Gorge), and the structure is around 1.8 million years old. Nobody knows which proto-human species created the tools (and homes) discovered at Oldupai. However, they seem to have been used by several different groups of early humans.
The first true houses were built by ancient Africans about 5,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that these were mainly simple shelters made out of sticks or leaves covered with clay or sand. Some had floors made of wood or stone. The occupants of the houses would have had access to food grown in surrounding gardens or hunted or fished nearby.
Over time, African people developed a love for gold, which led to many new types of houses being built. Some were simply boxes made of wood with a covering of earth or clay, but others included large rooms with walls of baked clay bricks or even stone. Some had flat roofs made of grass or metal, while others had steeply pitched roofs made of wood or bark.
People also started building their own brick pits and then using the bricks to build their homes. This is how most slaves lived before the advent of concrete buildings: isolated from other people, with no room to grow vegetables or flowers, which are need for food and medicine.
It's difficult to identify the first buildings because, as at Oldupai, the structures were presumably composed of materials that didn't last long and because, like at Oldupai, it's disputed if those constructions were houses at all. What about animal habitats? Do those qualify as houses? Apparently so. But we'll never know unless more sites are discovered.
The point is that, even though we know a lot about houses today, we still don't know much about ancient houses because so few have been found. And finding more sites is difficult because they're often covered by modern buildings or excavated before they get preserved well enough for study.
That being said, we can still learn a lot from existing houses by studying how they were built and using that information to interpret what other kinds of structures might have looked like during different time periods. For example, we know that people used wood as a building material until around 1800 in Europe when stone took over as the preferred building material. So if you find a site with buildings made out of wood, such as the Oldupai site, you can be sure that no later than 1800 people in Europe had access to electricity and metal tools.
But even after you take into account changes in building techniques over time, there are many aspects of house design that we just don't know anything about.
For thousands of years, little homes have been built, outfitted with household items and inhabited by both humans and animals. The earliest known instances were discovered in Egyptian tombs from the Old Kingdom, which were built over five thousand years ago. They were made of wood and clay and often included a kitchen, sleeping quarters, and storage areas.
The first miniature houses were made of porcelain and painted blue and white. They were manufactured in China around 1730 by Wang Hui. These were followed by glass-and-metal toys produced in Europe and America between 1830 and 1870. The first real wooden dolls' houses were made in Germany around 1835. In 1877, Charles Willson Peale invented a system of nails and pins that could be used to construct any size or shape doll's house.
Willson Peale's invention proved so successful that it is still used today by hobbyists who build custom dolls' houses.
Dolls' houses have many uses beyond simply playing with Barbie and Ken. Scientists use them to study the effects of gravity, air pressure, and other factors on children's limbs and bodies. Medical doctors use them to practice surgery on cadavers before performing actual procedures on living people. Law enforcement officers use them to train their sights and respond to different situations that might happen during a crime scene.