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Extra resources for Ancient Iraq: Third Edition (Penguin History)
23 SETTING THE SCENE (BEFORE 6500 BC) The next major development in activities and their spatial arrangement within the site occurred at the beginning of the Epi-gravettian phase (level III), from c. 17,000 BP, when numerous separate structures with associated concentrations of artefacts were in use. Each structure had a hearth and contained limestone blocks, many of which were used to grind mineral dye. The range of activities included butchering meat and stone-tool repair and production as well as harvesting and crushing plants.
After 6500 BC people marked out particular parts of landscapes by constructing into and on them semi-permanent and permanent buildings. The form of building varied in different regions and at different times, although by the end of the period considered in this chapter, c. 5500 BC, all regions were physically structuring their environments in broadly similar ways. At the most general level, one can recognize three regions of formal variation in architecture. To the south, in northern Greece (and especially in Thessaly) people built rectangular structures with stone foundations and substantial timber frames which they covered with clay and mud daub.
In a much wider area to the north and west (the lower Danube, Serbia, the eastern Hungarian Plain) the substantial timber-framed buildings were fewer in number, if found at all. Here, there were almost no buildings with stone foundations or sun-dried mud blocks. In these northern and western regions, two types of structures were common: a roofed, semi-subterranean pit-hut, elliptical in plan; and a surface-level building with rectilinear floorplan and wattle-and-daub, postframed walls. In between these two regions lay a third area, south-central Bulgaria.