Prehistoric Village Reconstructions
July 30, 2020 7:37 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite reconstructions of architecture in the BCs?

Whether art, living history museums, reconstructed villages one can visit, or films. What are your favorite recreations of prehistoric architecture that are based in historical research and as credible as reconstruction can be given it includes guess work? I'm not interested in architecture of the middle ages (for the purposes of this question) but in older attempts at understanding what the earliest human villages would have looked like visually.
posted by xarnop to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Sannai Maruyama Archaeological Site (Wikipedia link) in Aomori Prefecture is one of the largest settlements from the Jomon Period (est. 13,000 - 300 BCE) and includes a museum, reconstructed buildings, and areas where current excavations can be viewed. I went last year with spouse and kid and it was well worth the trip.
posted by mogget at 8:29 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Flag Fen near Peterborough, England has - in addition to the original Bronze Age timbers of the causeway - a recreated Bronze Age house, and also a recreated Iron Age house.

But for what some of the earliest human villages looked like, you'd be looking for something more like Çatalhöyük. The Natufian culture is one of the other earliest settled cultures before agriculture, but I don't know if there are recreations of their villages.
posted by jb at 8:37 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Oh to be clear I am interested in bronze/iron as well as neolithic/paleolithic! I am finding videos like this very interesting!

I'd love to see some reconstruction of gravettian houses (perhaps the bonehouses are the best we have?) Hallstatt, La Tene, Urnfield, Indus Valley, Yellow River Valley etc.

The older the are the less likely (understandably) to find much attempts at visual reconstruction of houses and daily life, but I really enjoy the recreation in any case!

Wow and the images and video from the Jomon museum are incredible!
posted by xarnop at 9:25 PM on July 30


I daydream about the buildings of Neolithic Orkney, but I’ve never been.
posted by clew at 10:02 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I was recently down in Konstanz and visited the nearby Pile Dwelling Museum.
posted by scorbet at 11:14 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Butser Ancient Farm, Hampshire, UK is awesome. BBC did a documentary Living in the Past - bit blurry but worth pursuing NSFW (nudity, animal killing - few vegetarians in the Neolithic). Butser's website has a lot of info and they've made it a community hub for teaching and research. There's also been a lot of experiential archaeology in the area since.
posted by unearthed at 11:38 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


There are also a couple of Crannóg reconstructions - there's one in Scotland and another in Ireland. (I haven't visited either of them.)
posted by scorbet at 2:46 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


The neolithic settlement of Choirokitia (also spelled Khirokitia) is a great example of a prehistoric site in the eastern Mediterranean. There are some reconstructed houses to visit, which were built off site. More.

This being MeFi, it kinda feels obligatory to mention that the oldest known pet cat was found at a different neolithic settlement in Cyprus. This makes me inordinately pleased because cats.
posted by mkdirusername at 11:10 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I am fond of Kule Loklo Coast Miwok Cultural exhibit at Point Reyes National Seashore. It is small, but a lot of care has gone into creating and maintaining it and tribal folks are involved. It is a very easy walk from the parking lot.
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:12 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I'm not inherently interested in the topic, more the type who'll visit a cool thing if I'm in the neighborhood. So not a lot of knowledge or experience, but I definitely enjoyed visiting Hagar Qim, and if traveling is an option for you, I'd note that Malta is lousy with 5,000-year-old temples/sites.
posted by troywestfield at 11:55 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I am a Shang-focused archaeologist and I actually know someone working on Shang interactive reconstructions *right now* because there aren't a ton of great ones out there. There is a reconstructed palace in Anyang (the modern city where the ancient capital, Yinxu, was located) that is based on a decent amount of (older) research which you can *kinda* see in a picture on its Wikipedia. There hasn't been a ton of focus on reconstructing more quotidian stuff yet, but (as mentioned) there are definitely archaeologists working on that more now.
posted by thebots at 12:10 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Thank you all so much for sharing! I've enjoyed the links!
posted by xarnop at 7:44 AM on August 2


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