Weathering With Walls: A History Of Ancient Architecture

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Throughout the year we all depend on architectural features such as walls and windows to keep us comfortable, whether we’re working to stay warm in winter or promote breathability in summer. This quest for home comfort originates from some of the world’s oldest civilisations, where ancient wall-building techniques were developed to promote warmth, ventilation and security. Read on to find out more about some of the world’s oldest civilisations and their well weathered walls.

Ancient Architecture


Ancient Mesopotamia was home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest civilisation. Located in southwest Asia around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the region is now recognised as modern day Iraq and Kuwait. Initial building efforts can be traced back to 14,000 BC, where these grew into agricultural settlements and cities developed by the ancient Sumerian population from around 3200 BC.

Early Mesopotamian homes were typically circular, an effective design for keeping warm. This is because a circular space allows warm air to circulate, whilst square structures encourage cool air to collect in corner spaces. Later cities also benefited from mud brick walls which provided impressive insulatory qualities for cool nights and winters.

Xia Dynasty

The Xia Dynasty is thought to be the first government and dynastic society founded in Ancient China, established around 2070 BC. The area was approximately located between Luoyang and Zhengzhou, in what is now part of the western region of the Henan Province.

The historical Erlitou archeological site is traditionally linked to the Xia Dynasty, where impressive architectural palaces have been uncovered. These feature lightweight walls filled with natural fibres, where the main weight of the building was carried by strategically placed timber posts. This design created a well-ventilated and spacious interior that was ideal for political and religious activity.

Mycenaean Civilisation

The Mycenaens were an ancient Indo-European civilisation who arrived in Greece around 1600 BC. Their name derives from the archaeological site of Mycenae in the Peloponnesos region, where ruins remain of a huge fortified structure.

A warrior elite society, the Mycenaeans were adept at building sturdy architectural defences using the technique of cyclopean masonry. This describes a method of wall building that uses large stone blocks secured without the use of mortar, where the size of these stones reduces the number of joints and weak points in the wall, resulting in an impenetrable fortification.

UK Energy Management: Upgrade Your Architecture Today

If you want your home to be just as cosy as a Mycenaean fortress this winter, then UK Energy Management is here to help. Through the government backed ECO4 funding scheme, you could be eligible for free heating upgrades such as a solid wall insulation fitting or cavity wall extraction and remodelling. Get in touch with our helpful team today to find out more.

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