Who Invented Houses?

invented-houses Credit: Andrew McLachlan/All Canada Photos/Getty Images

The first dwellings were constructed by early humans to shelter themselves during hunting and gathering expeditions about 30,000 years ago. Evidence suggests these dwellings were tent-like structures. Although these tents served as temporary homes, the nomadic lifestyle of early humans did not necessitate permanent structures.

The need for more permanent structures arose around 8,000 B.C.E. Archaeologists have unearthed round house structures in Jericho that are shaped like the base camp tents used by early hunters and gatherers, but the mud brick construction indicates they were clearly intended to be permanent structures. It is surmised that the transition of human society from hunting and gathering to agriculture led to the need for permanent housing. The first square housing structures were constructed in what is modern-day Turkey around 6500 B.C.E. They have straight walls but no doors. Each house is entered through the roof. Cement was first used in construction around 200 B.C.E., and the Romans perfected arches and domes around 1 B.C.E. Evidence of the first glass windows also appears in Roman structures dated to the first century C.E. The modern concept of housing has evolved from the European palaces that were constructed from the 15th century C.E., when housing was no longer intended simply to be functional but comfortable as well.