ARCHITECTURE AS A SECOND NATURE: SACRED CAVES AND PRIMITIVE HUTS

ARCHITECTURE AS A SECOND NATURE: SACRED CAVES AND PRIMITIVE HUTS

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ARCHITECTURE AS A SECOND NATURE: SACRED CAVES AND PRIMITIVE HUTS A.The Act of Dwelling: Shelter and Symbol 1. From roughly 500,000 to 3000 BCE, the idea of architecture emerged through the awareness of two recurring themes: symbol and shelter. 2. The primitive hut, the mythical first dwelling, appeared all over the planet. 3. Works remained tentative and unobtrusive. The earliest designers made shelter in the pleats of the earth. a. the trees of central Africa more than 3 million years ago (“Lucy”) b. the Oldupai Gorge (Tanzania) c. the hearths of the Neanderthals i. the hearths at the great cave of Escale near Marseilles in southern France, and the cave of “Peking Man” at Zhoukoudian, China 4. Neanderthal hunter-gatherers built huts in the open as early as 400,000 BCE. a. traces of twenty oval huts at the camp of Terra Amata, near Nice in southern France 5. The Stone Age a. Anthropologists often refer to the long period of prehistory as the “Stone Age,” named after the prevailing technology of stone tools. b. Around 40,000 BCE, the Neanderthals coexisted with but were eventually replaced by the Cro-Magnon peoples, a distinct strain of Homo sapiens sapiens. i. Homo sapiens began to formulate religious behavior. ii. The cults that formed to appease human anxiety prepared the foundations for architecture as the setting for ritual actions. The cave acquired a new status as sanctuary. iii. At its mouth, the hunter might make a dwelling, while reserving the dark inner recesses for rituals addressing life, death, and afterlife. iv. Stone-Age nomads began to use painting and sculpture to decorate special hillside caves: 1. Caves at Lascaux, in southwestern France 2. Altamira, in northwestern Spain c. The Chauvet Cave appears to be the oldest in Europe, tentatively dated around 30,000 BCE.
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i. Like Lascaux and Altamira, one entered from above into a three-part sequence of descending spaces articulated by ritual markings. ii. The “end chamber” of the Chauvet Cave has as its central icon a painting of a gigantic woman, associated with a presumed cult of the Great Goddess of the Earth. B. Living Together: Neolithic Settlements in Southwest Asia 1. 16,000 BCE: dramatic climate change. Humans began to take more active control of the environment, reshaping the land: a. channeling water; b. terracing hillsides; c. shaping the fields through constant tilling; d. fashioning shelters from the basic materials offered by the land—mud, wood, and stone —and covering them with woven grasses and animal hides; e. clustering their houses into villages. 2. Earliest Stone-Age settlers migrated to Southwest Asia, where wild grains grew in abundance. a. oval structures unearthed in 1994 at Göbekli Tepe, a mound in southeastern Turkey. i. These early works of architecture belonged to a community of hunter– gatherers.
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  • Fall '16
  • Architecture, History Of Architecture, Stone, BCE new builders

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