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contents : Early Medieval : Shelter & Housing

Summary: Viking Houses Different Types

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The Vikings settlement in Dublin was excavated in the early 1960s and it has revealed detailed information about houses styles there. All the houses were rectangular, with post and wattle walls and rounded corners. The roofs were hipped or sloped and steeply pitched. They were thatched with straw which was attached to the underlying sods with wooden pins. There is no evidence of daub in these houses, although some may have been smeared with dung. These houses would probably not have had windows in their rather low walls. Five different building types have been identified in Viking Dublin, the vast majority are type one. These houses were divided in a tripartite way with awide central strip running between doorways in the end walls and with raised built-in bedding areas on each side wall. There was usually a stone hearth in the centre of the floor. Subdivision of the rest of the house took place for different functions. The average floor area was 36sq m. The doors had strong squared jambs which had to support a wide lintel to which the weight of the hip roof was transferred. In the smaller houses there was only one door and the smallest huts may even have been used as pig styes.

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