CHAPTER 2: THE CAVE AND THE SKY: STONE AGE EUROPE

Kostoff just started his writing in his chapter by stating architecture as a simple act of making places for ritual use since it is one f the basic human needs. It is in fact, arrangement in nature if we consider the Earth as a place full of potential to be arranged. Architecture, according to him, marks off an area to distinguish it from others. By creating boundaries or by monumenting we can mark these pieces of nature and make them differentiating from the rest of the places. Although the first humans has some problems by accommodating themselves to the nature, in time they created shelters which can be natural or manufactured for  a purposeful use. (ex: caves, Terra Amata)

The oldest humans can be considered as hunters who made use of enclosed spaces as protection. In their dwellings, we can see the primitive parts of a settlement; an area to sleep, kitchen, toilet area. Old stone age is making use of both technology and ritual use of architecture. As the writer has distinguished, the shelter has further meanings; it is more than a housing, it became a sanctuary. Above all, the sanctuary became a place where the hunters could express their art as a tool of reality; cave murals, sculptures which also reflects religious side of these hunters. (rituals sacraments etc.) The fertility is shown as a big female figures. The circle of life is also a part of the cave art also like the hunt. The cave at Lascaux can be an example which is a community project.

The New Age(Neolithic Age) is a time era in which humans begin to settle down, stay stable on a piece of land. That brings out new requirements and readjustments not only as farming or animal husbandry; appropriate vegetal and animal resources but also the necessary technological improvements to the required lifestyle. Neolithic age, shortly, can be presumed as a fixed place under the sky; it is beyond hunting and gathering. So, the new age has also its own architectural principles. Farmlands require individual divisions which also provide the individual’s settlements. However, there is also huge stones which “are raised up to mark open lands”; megaliths also which are the proof of community with the cooperation of technology. There are houses, monuments and tombs in this age lead humans to control and provide open and closed spaces according to useful need.

Then, Kostoff gives examples like Temples of Malta and Stonehenge as monumental architecture. Cgantiga which is a part of Neolithic Age, consists of its ancestral memories reflected in it.(painted caves) It is formed as a centralised closed space which is adjusted according to the needs of its users both ritually and visually. Stonehenge is built for a reason; to communicate the powers of heaven and celebrate it. So, it has a divine motive. It has such a special organisation so that such astronomic phenomena could be experienced. Heavy stones with an open-air organisation creating a smooth arch… That is an explicit design.

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