Q:

What was an ancient Greek house like?

A:

Quick Answer

Ancient Greek houses were usually small, with the rooms positioned along the sides of the house and a courtyard in the middle. This design helped the air to circulate and keep the temperature down during the hottest parts of the year.

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Most Greek houses were modest in size, with only a few rooms surrounding a yard or walled garden. The side of the house facing the street usually only had one door, which led directly to the courtyard.

Bigger houses had dozens of rooms and more than one floor. These rooms included bathing rooms, a dining room and a kitchen. Bedrooms were located on the second floor. Often, men and women lived in different parts of the house. The men's rooms were known as the andron and the women's rooms were called the gynaikonitis. The dining rooms had couches and low tables on which the occupants reclined during meals.

Houses during this time were typically made of sun-hardened mud cut into bricks. Small windows were cut into the mud and adorned by plain wooden shutters that were closed during the afternoons to keep the temperatures down. The roofs were generally made of clay tiles. Because mud houses did not last long, the main source of knowledge about ancient Greek housing is texts from the period.

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