Ancient Architecture and Humanity’s Construction Need
Earlier construction and a quick overview of building history
Earlier construction and a quick overview of building history. We’ve all heard of “cavemen,” and there is undeniable proof that early people used naturally occurring caves as refuge. Because the most basic buildings, such as tents, bivouacs, and small houses built of sticks and skins, leave no evidence, we are unsure of the precise date that humans began to build their own shelters. What we do know is mostly based on conjecture and observation of how nomadic people continue to live in far-flung regions of the planet.
However, there is a ton of architectural evidence, and several well-preserved Neolithic or New Stone Age structures are still standing. We created structures to shield ourselves from the environment, predators, and other people, from crannogs, which are man-made islands, to pit houses made primarily of mammoth bones.
Skara Brae on the Orkney Islands is Europe’s most intact Neolithic hamlet, dating to roughly 3000 BC, with stone homes that include stone furniture, middens for waste, hearths, and stone furniture. A complex drainage system was also present in the area. In the present-day countries of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, the remnants of much ancient communities have been found.
The “built environment” and cities
The shift from a hunter-gatherer to an agrarian or agricultural lifestyle was a frequent theme in the construction of permanent structures. As humans began to establish themselves, they began to grow more numerous and build more grandiose structures. The first cities and what would later be referred to as the built environment were born out of this.
Bringing big populations of people together unavoidably leads to challenges, from societal problems like violence to the potential for illnesses to spread. But a thoughtfully designed physical environment can also be good for your health and for social harmony. The “father of urban planning,” Hippodamus of Miletus, employed grid layouts to build Greek cities in the fifth century BC. Aqueducts transporting fresh water into Roman cities were piped into public drinking fountains, and there were open-air bathhouses. Innovators have constantly been seeking to improve and streamline communities throughout history.
As infrastructure has developed more recently, there have been those who have toiled and fought for our towns and cities to function for the good of everybody. The “whole city approach” has been put up by Mindy Fullilove, who teaches Urban Policy and Health at The New School in New York.
Fullilove highlights the idea of dealing with disasters in underprivileged communities in her videos on YouTube, as well as how neighborhood inequality impacts a whole society. According to her studies, when rebuilding a city, you must consider the needs of the entire population. Programs that support the entire city and allow us all an opportunity to live in a compassionate and beautiful location are what we need for public health, according to her.
Better, Taller, and Bigger
Some of the earlies t settlement patterns and villages have already been mentioned. These were primarily constructed with practical applications in mind, and elements like the drainage system at Skara Brae show some unexpectedly clever answers to everyday issues. However, not every building we create serves a clear purpose; others have deeper social, cultural, or religious significance.
Although the purpose of Stonehenge is still a mystery to us, it is a hugely majestic and imposing building. The first wooden “totem-pole-like” posts in the immediate vicinity were erected in the Mesolithic period, between 8500 and 7000 BC. It was constructed in phases. There is little question that the classic sarsen and bluestone henge would have signaled the importance and power of its builders and guardians, regardless of the complex’s precise purpose, when it was built in or about 2500 BC.
Similar to previous pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed to showcase the splendor of the pharaohs whose remains it held. According to the legend, mankind was punished for attempting to construct a tower that could reach the skies at the Tower of Babel. Some contemporary researchers think it might be a reference to well-known ancient buildings like the Great Ziggurat of Ur.
Grand constructions have always caught the imagination of people, from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower to The Shard in London, and contemporary skyscrapers now dwarf their forebears. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the highest structure in the world right now. Standing at 828 meters, it is more than twice as tall as former champion Empire State Building.
Coidering the futurens
Grand designs are something Dubai is known for, and this love doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Although Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower will eventually be the tallest structure in the world and China will have 21 of the world’s 50 tallest structures by 2020, architect David Fisher has ideas for a massive rotating skyscraper in the city. Some futurists are even thinking beyond earthly structures and creating buildings for future Mars residents.
Humans have constructed dwellings and other structures long before we began to live in permanent communities in order to suit their expanding requirements. Many of these have provided shelter or other useful functions, but as our capacity for building increased, so did the size of our communities. Sometimes it appears that the fundamental justification for constructing a certain structure, whether in ancient or modern times, was simply “because we could.”
We can’t dig burrows very well, and we don’t carry shells around on our backs (at least not without machinery). We need to build to protect ourselves from the weather, but it sometimes seems like building also speaks to something in the core of who we are. It will be exciting to watch where our abilities take us next if humans are designed to build.
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