The Stone Age: Shelters, Huts & Houses

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  • 0:04 Living in the Stone Age
  • 0:33 Paleolithic Age Homes
  • 1:34 Mesolithic Age Homes
  • 2:08 Neolithic Age Homes
  • 2:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tommi Waters

TK Waters has a bachelor's degree in literature and religious studies and a master's degree in religious studies and teaches Hebrew Bible at Western Kentucky University.

Stone Age people did not just live in caves by themselves, but built huts and even homes in villages and cities as humanity and technology developed. You can learn more about these architectural stages in this lesson.

Living in the Stone Age

Imagine what it was like to live in the Stone Age. If you are picturing a life of living in caves or huts, you are on the right track, but not for the entire Stone Age. The Stone Age is commonly split up into three periods and while people in the earliest period (the Paleolithic Age) lived in caves and huts, people in the latest period (the Neolithic Age) lived in houses. Let's look at what the living situations were like for the average person in each of these time periods.

Paleolithic Age Homes

The Paleolithic Age, the earliest period of the Stone Age that lasted up until the Ice Age around 10,000 BCE, is what most people picture when they think of the Stone Age. As the first period of humanity, and with little technology, survival was of the utmost importance for these people. Since they were nomadic, or lived a life of moving from place to place, their settlements were temporary and we do not have much evidence of them.

What we do know comes mostly from cave paintings and archaeological finds in caves themselves, as Stone Age people often made their homes in caves. Campsites, of sorts, were also common, with huts being used as temporary homes that could be abandoned when needed. These huts were typically made with stone bases, wood or straw sides, and a straw roof. However, other materials were sometimes used, even mammoth bones and tusks. Whether living in caves or huts, paleolithic people typically built a hearth, or stone fireplace, into their homes for warmth and cooking, which was pretty essential during an Ice Age.

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