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History of Houses

Civilization as we know it began between North Africa and western Asia in the land known as Mesopotamia. The first civilization that lived there was called Sumer. Then, other communities began to appear around the world. In order for these civilizations to grow, they needed shelter and other buildings to live in and to store resources. This is when the "house" first appeared. What is a house? What is a shelter? A shelter is a structure or a natural feature that provides protection against bad weather, danger, or pests such as insects.

Early man found shelter in caves and other structures already in nature. But eventually man started to make his own shelter. One of the first houses was made like tents; cone shaped and wrapped in leather and animal furs. These houses were made using stone tools. This era is known as the Stone Age.

Then houses gained a more civilized look. These early houses were based on the tools available and environmental factors, and included structures made of sandstone and logs. A tree house might have been a shelter at this time. These houses were the start for the amazing designs and shapes of human dwellings.

The time that came later was known as the Middle Ages. This was a time of castles, knights and kings. Housing went beyond mere shelter and started to take into account the shape and design of the house. The monarchy order great castles and cathedrals to be built. Rich people owned huge estates with beautiful mansions while poor people lived in less civilized dwellings. This time is known as the Renaissance. These houses evolved very much into the ones we know today.

The Industrial Revolution also played an important role in the evolution of houses. The number of modern looking houses rapidly multiplied. This was because of the mass production tat factories allowed. This gave people more jobs; also, more tools and parts were made available to build houses. The jobs made people come to the cities, so more buildings for shelter had to be built.

The first American houses were built in the thirteen colonies. These houses were log cabins like the one shown below. Early American settlers inhabited these log cabins which lasted along time. Then houses evolved into brick apartments and private mansions. Finally, the houses in the information age became modern looking and skyscrapers rose in the cities.

Great civilizations like the Roman Empire and Greece influenced the way of architecture forever. Modern shelters reflected the styles of these ancient civilizations. From the Stone Age to the present, the style of houses has made a giant leap. From using structures and resources found in nature, to sleek stylish designs of the 21st century, the evolution of housing continues. What the house of the future will look like can partially be guessed by looking at what has come before, and can be partially imagined by where it could go.