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Hungarian settlements of the Arpad era

Hungarian settlements of the Arpad era

Pit houses were typical dwellings in the Arpad era.

History

Keywords

Árpád dynasty, settlement, pit house, lifestyle, church, silo, pit, place of residence, building, village, Villages, animal husbandry, agriculture

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Questions

  • What animal did Hunor and Magor chase?
  • Which language is not related to Hungarian?
  • Where was the homeland of the speakers of the ancient Finno-Ugric language?
  • What does the word yurt mean?
  • Which two rivers meet in the region that was supposedly the land, Magna Hungaria?
  • Which of these words does not mean Hungary?
  • In which region did the Hungarians never settle down?
  • Which of these tribes was not a member of the Hungarian alliance?
  • Which of these tribes was not a member of the Hungarian alliance?
  • When did the Hungarians start to settle down in the Carpathian Basin?
  • What was the aim of the Hungarian raids?
  • When did the Hungarian raids stop?
  • Where did the Hungarian raiders suffer overwhelming defeat in 955?
  • What was the pagan name of Prince Géza´s son?
  • When did Prince Géza die?
  • What was the name of Saint Stephen´s son (who was also canonised later)?
  • When did Saint Stephen die?
  • When was Ladislas I of Hungary crowned?
  • When was Coloman Beauclerc crowned?

Scenes

Settlement

  • church
  • wattle and daub house
  • wattle house
  • pen
  • storage pit
  • fishnet and wicker fish trap

The structure of settlements

Arpad era settlements can be reconstructed quite accurately from the findings of archaeological excavations and written sources.

Houses were arranged at random, far from one another. There were no streets. Around the houses, there were external ovens and fireplaces, storage pits, stockades, wind shelters (constructed from wicker and wood) and wells. There may have been small church buildings at the end of the settlements, surrounded by hedges.

The fields beyond the churches were used for livestock and agricultural cultivation.

Pit house

  • wattle and daub wall
  • sunken floor
  • main support post
  • thatch roof
  • oven
  • clay pot
  • drainage ditch
  • sitting hole

Visiting a pit house

Pit houses (sunken houses) were typical dwellings of the Arpad era. They were buildings dug in the ground so that the floor was below ground level. These buildings usually did not have walls, the roofs (supported by posts and purlins) and gables were on the ground.

The roofs were covered with straw or thatch, but multi-level roofs may have had mud covering. Gables were made from wicker or adobe; with small holes left as windows.

Pit houses originally had only one room (´putri´ house), but later the sleeping areas and cooking areas became separate (´burgyé´ house).

Stairs led from the entrance into the house. An oven (stone or clay) and sitting pits were hollowed out in the interior. Clothes were stored in wooden boxes, food in clay pots. These - similarly to the beds - were placed on the ledges.

Cross section of a pit house

Reconstructed pit house

Lifestyle

Lifestyle in the Arpad era

Villagers made a living from agriculture and animal husbandry. Bones found by archaeologists indicate that their most important food was beef, but they also consumed mutton, goat and occasionally pork. The most widely used beasts of burden were horses. They constructed stockades to protect small animals, and built wind shelters.

The most important crops were wheat, rye and millet. Harvested and threshed crops were usually stored in pits. The houses were often surrounded by gardens to grow vegetables, for example cabbage.

Villages were self-sustaining, with craftsmen (potters, smiths, carpenters, etc.) providing all the essential tools for the villagers. Other activities necessary in the life of villages were done by fishermen, shepherds, lumberjacks, etc.

Church

  • church yard
  • cemetery
  • belfry
  • hedge
  • tomb post
  • shingled roof
  • entrance
  • rendered brick wall
  • sanctuary
  • thin windows
  • brick wall
  • vaulting
  • benches
  • balcony
  • flat ceiling

Storage pit

  • clayey soil
  • fired clay interior
  • straw lining
  • 3 - 4.5 tonnes of cereal
  • straw seal
  • clay seal
  • pit roof

Walk

Villages in the Arpad era consisted of irregularly arranged pit houses. There were open ovens and fireplaces, stockades, wind shelters and wells around the houses. The church of the village (if there was one) was located beyond the houses, surrounded by a hedge. Grazing fields and cultivated land bordered the village.

Pit houses were sunk in the ground. Their roofs and gables were supported by the ground. The interior of houses were initially undivided, stairs led inside. There was an oven and sitting pits inside. Furniture consisted of wooden boxes, placed on the ledges - similarly to the beds and other objects.

Animation

Narration

Arpad era settlements can be reconstructed quite accurately from the results of archaeological excavations and written sources. The houses were usually arranged irregularly and far apart, and there were no streets.

The houses were surrounded by ovens and fireplaces, storage pits, stockades, wind shelters (constructed from wicker and wood) and wells. There might have been small church buildings framed by hedges at the edge of the settlements. Beyond the churches lay fields used for livestock and crops.

Pit houses (sunk houses) were typical of the Arpad era. They were buildings sunk into the ground so that the level of the floor was underground. These buildings usually did not have walls. The roofs (supported by Y-shaped posts and purlins) and pediments were on the ground level. The roofs were covered with straw or thatch, but multi-layered roofs might have been plastered with mud. Pediments were made from wicker or adobe with small holes left as windows.

Pit houses originally only contained one room (these were called putri houses), but later the sleeping areas and cooking areas became separated (those were referred to as burgyé houses). Stairs led from the entrance into the room. An oven (made of stone or clay) and sitting pits were made in the interior. Clothes were stored in wooden boxes, and food in clay pots. Like the beds, these were placed on ledges.

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