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contents : Early Medieval : Shelter & Housing

Summary: Internal view of Raths

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Inside these early medieval houses there was little significant change from those of the preceding period. Cooking was done on open hearths in the centre of the main room. Rotary querns were used to grind grain. These people would have used basic looms on which to weave woollen fabric for clothes. Beds were usually raised enclosures filled with straw. Floors were clay and covered with reeds or rushes which had the unpleasant effect of harbouring food remains, other debris and often rats or other rodents. There is no doubt that these houses would have been smokey and smelly and not at all healthy.

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Interior of house based on excavations at a rath at Deerpark Farms, County Antrim.

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