Why did the Gauls construct rectangular houses, while the Britons built round ones?

Aug 2016
977
US&A
I am reading through The World of the Celts by Simon James, and he writes, "Houses tended to be circular in Britain and Ireland, and roughly rectangular in Gaul and elsewhere - there being no apparent reason for the difference."

The book was first printed in 1993. I am curious if recent research has shed any light on this, or if anyone has any guesses regardless.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,525
Las Vegas, NV USA
I think a lot has to do with the building material. Animal skins supported by poles with venting at the top is naturally accommodated by circular designs. With some new materials variations of the same design may be practical. With others, such as logs, rectangular designs are a natural choice. Brick and stone work better with rectangular construction while mud, snow or concrete can molded to both depending on the containing material.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2017
724
Lemuria
I am reading through The World of the Celts by Simon James, and he writes, "Houses tended to be circular in Britain and Ireland, and roughly rectangular in Gaul and elsewhere - there being no apparent reason for the difference."

The book was first printed in 1993. I am curious if recent research has shed any light on this, or if anyone has any guesses regardless.
The Celts in Gaul weren't as primitive as they were in Ireland and Britain. Moreover, the Gauls were in contact with the Greeks and the Romans. They were influenced by their neighbours certainly. A large Gallic oppidum was actually a pretty impressive sight. The Gauls were no where as primitive as the Germanic or the Britons.

Square houses are more adequate if you have a large settlement. For a small settlement, round is the way to go for the many beneficial properties of such design and they are more pleasant to look at.
 
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