Friday, December 09, 2011

History of home and why bears made cave inhabitable.

Note: Wrote this for the bosses to evaluate the writing style for the new property guide book we are working on. Its supposed to be light-hearted with a dash of humour. No comments so far.

Early days there was no such thing as home. Home or property were unheard of during men evolved into homo sapiens, real estate back then was just a dude pointing to a plantation saying, “Look, a real estate.”

The early form of people roamed around and ate what they can wherever they are, sort of what we do when we hit the highway. It was not clear if they actually sought to reside on a tree ala chimpanzee or gorillas, but we are very certain that if they did they didn’t share the bathroom with the neighbours Mr and Mrs. Gorilla.

Great, great ancestors and cave (the ones without bat dung hopefully)

When our great great ancestors decided that they are going to ascend to the ground from living in the tree, they were immediately eaten by sabre-toothed tiger. Those who survived it went on to look for home that can shelter them against all sort of weather. Soon, they found caves where they were immediately eaten by hibernating bear.

But cave was beginning of what would be known as home, as clearly evidenced by archaeological discovery of bones of men inside bones of bear. It was in cave that archaeologist’s found many obscure instruments including weapons to fend off ferocious creatures like the abovementioned tiger, bear or in-laws.

Historians argue that cave dwelling could have begun during the early Neolithic period around 7000 – 6000 BC. When we checked last, they are still arguing and might also take up arm. But as Neolithic era also saw men building houses though at the same time people were still living in cave, tent and extreme poverty.

Great, great ancestors building houses (that probably had bat or other type of dung)

Historian, when they are not arguing, estimated that house building began in Egypt and West Asia probably about 10,000 BC and in Greece about 6000 BC. Alright there seemed to be conflict on the date, so they may still be arguing after all. While they were at it, the English came to the party late and only build houses at 3000 BC.

To the uninitiated, BC years are kinda backwards. The more the number the further away the year is. Of course, the next question is, if a dude was born in 3000 BC and at 2990 BC, would he be ten years younger? The BC dudes and gals were lucky, weren’t they? We can imagine the following conversation at a birthday party:

Gal: Dude how “young” are you?
Dude: I am 80 years young (then clutches his chest and collapses)

Difference houses including the ones that kept blown away

Okay, back to the house.

The kinda houses they had back then depended on where the location was. The weather made lots of difference.  In Northern Europe and Northern China, they build what was referred to as “hearth houses” which were huts with one square or round room (think studio apartment) and a fire on a stone hearth in the middle, this to heat up the room as well as to do weekly barbecue (except the Heinz sauce was not invented yet).

The smoke goes out through the thatched or shingled roof. Often animals are kept in the room with the people, for warmth. And depending on the animal, the human are kept in the room for good diet.
Please note that chimneys were not yet invented so we assume that Santa Clause made his entry, embarrassingly enough, by knocking on the front door.

The weather is different in Egypt and West Asia, as well as in Southern China and possibly this author’s living room, whereby it was hot all the time, and you can’t get wood. So, they use mud brick and were basically just wall with flat roof where they can sleep and expose themselves again to cool night and wakeup with pneumonia.

Beginning of the modern house, or, wait for it.

Semblance to modern housing could have begun somewhere around 3000 BC itself where Eastern Meditteraneanan and West Asia had richer folks and they built better and bigger houses, not unlike now where some mansions look like they were built for that beanstalk giant. Or Godzilla.

In the meantime, the Greece folks were building “megaron” houses that transforms into a gigantic Trojan horse…wait, that’s a Transformer. A megaron house, boringly were the ones with one or two rooms and pillars in front making a porch.

It seems the bigger houses also have nice brick floors, and built-in benches and cupboards, and painted walls, and tiled roofs, and lots of people in airy toga.

So, there you go some basic information about houses back then. Of course, history did not stop there, and it ain’t stopping now either. It’s getting late and we need to get home. If only someone chase away the hibernating bear in it.

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