Though the peoples of the Palaeolithic are commonly referred to as cavemen, they actually did not live deep inside caves, but survived harsh climates in simple animal huts and tents, which were invariably situated in daylight settings—just inside a cave mouth or tucked under a rock overhang or in the open air. We are not bats and cannot live where we cannot see. The archaeological record is replete with carefully excavated Palaeolithic habitation sites. The actual physical evidence of these simple shelters is limited to permanent materials like stone and bone. No wooden post or animal hide has been found, because these materials rot over the course of time. But the existence of these perishable elements can easily be established. Postholes prove the existence of wooden poles even in their physical absence. The alignment of the holes and/or anchor stones describes the footprint of the framework, which is understood to have supported animal hides or mud/stick via a plethora of ethnographic parallels.

To see these remarkable full-scale Paleolithic tent reconstructions visit the Musée du Malgré-Tout in Treignes, Belgium. The tents outline the architectural achievements of Homo erectus through to Homo sapien, covering the period between 1.2 million years BCE to 12,500 BCE, including specific reconstructions of Pont-de-Lavaud à Eguzon (France), Cerisier (France), Méziritch (Ukraine), Plateau Parrain (France), Pincevent (France), Gönnersdorf (Germany), and Closeau (France).





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