Q:

What were ancient Chinese houses like?

A:

Quick Answer

Ancient Chinese houses were built using sun-dried bricks, wood and pounded earth, very often around a central courtyard. There are a number of ancient architectural types, including Siheyuan and Tulou, with most stressing the importance of "feng shui," which is defense and harmony with the natural environment.

 Know More

Full Answer

The Siheyuan style of housing, which was common in Beijing, was characterized by several symmetrically arranged units or modules around one or more courtyards. The courtyards would be entirely enclosed on all sides by buildings or exterior walls, the only break in which would be the south-facing main entrance.

Toward the main entrance, the rooms would become progressively less prestigious in their function. Tucked away at the north of a typical Siheyuan, for instance, behind the master bedroom, were rooms for unwed daughters. Closer to the gate were the servants' quarters and work areas.

The Tulou style of housing has been popular among more rural communities for many centuries, particularly in the southern province of Fujian. These donut-shaped structures are likewise geared for defense, made with rammed earth exteriors. Broken only by narrow windows and a single entrance, the circular outer walls enclose timber interiors and a central open-air courtyard. The roofing, which follows the donut shape of the structure, is slate.

Learn more about Ancient History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What type of government characterized ancient Sumer?

    A:

    Ancient Sumer was comprised of a network of discrete city-states. While they shared the Sumerian language in common, each city-state was its own polity or political entity.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who did the ancient Greeks worship and why?

    A:

    Ancient Greeks worshiped many gods and goddesses, including Zeus, Hades, Apollo, Aphrodite, Ares and Hermes. These gods and goddesses had different personalities and played various roles. Ancient Greeks worshiped their gods in different sanctuaries within the city and in the countryside by participating in festivals and sacrifices.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where did the Earth come from?

    A:

    Astrophysicists believe the Earth and the rest of the solar system is the result of the Big Bang and its explosions of massive stars. The Big Bang and the stellar explosions, called supernovas, blasted untold amounts of material into space. Eventually, the matter cooled down and began to clump together into a hot, spinning cloud that eventually became a solar nebula.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did the Incas live in?

    A:

    Inca houses were made from stone blocks and they had angled, thatched roofs. The Incas used mainly granite stones, because it was a hard, sturdy building material.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore