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Questions

Delphi House of Questions was an EU Culture 2000 project by three EXARC members. Under this umbrella, other EXARC members as well collected and answered the most frequently asked questions by visitors to archaeological open-air museums. The largest part of this collection of questions you can find here – as many of them still carry importance. In most cases we offer the questions both in the original language and in English.

Did they really have such beautiful colours in the past (DK)?

Yes. From about the middle of the Danish Iron Age they began to colour their clothes in all sorts of colours. In the Early Iron Age, one had carefully sorted out the wool and made use of the natural colours of the yarn to create dice and striped patterns...

How did the people of the lake fortress dress (LV)?

Excavated material permits reconstruction of the dress of the people living on the island. Women wore long linen shirts with half-length or full length sleeves. Simple wraparound skirts were made from a rectangular piece of woollen fabric...

In prehistory, where did people go to the toilet (NL)?

We have never recovered any prehistoric toilets. When excavating settlements from this period, usually many traces of pits are found, but in most cases it is impossible to see what exactly they were used for, for storage, garbage or something else...

How come it is so dark in prehistoric houses (NL)?

The prehistoric houses as reconstructed in Archeon have small or no windows. Most light enters through the door and the smoke holes under the roof. Besides this, the open fire gives some light. Honestly, we do not know...

How much time did it take in the early Middle Ages to build a house (NL)?

Nowadays, time is money. The longer it takes before it is ready, the more expensive the house is. Back then, building a new house meant you couldn't spend the same time on something else. Most medieval people were self-sufficient:...

Were the Neolithic house posts in Northwest Schleswig really this thick (DE)?

Yes, they were. We found the structures inside of the postholes; and it was clear enough to separate the rest of the post itself from the surrounding soil filling...

In the Iron Age, how many people used to live in the houses in Biskupin (PL)?

There were 100 houses in the fortress with a total of 700 – 1000 people staying. The area of an average house was 70 – 90 square metres. Each house was divided into...

Do we know what the interior of prehistoric houses looked like (CZ)?

Not much survived because original floors have been destroyed by erosion. Hearths are preserved more commonly (from the Aeneolithic on they were carefully built from daub, stone, isolation layers of bark and so on) or arched ovens...

Did prehistoric dwellings have windows? How were they protected from the bad weather (CZ)?

Unfortunately large parts of prehistoric house walls are only rarely preserved to allow us to ponder the question of windows. In archaeological open-air museums they reconstruct windows according to traditional house building as very small which seems probable...

Where did people sleep in the migration period in Sweden (SE)?

Well that is a hard question to answer, because no beds of any kind from the migration period in Sweden have survived until today. They may have slept in beds, on benches or maybe even in hammocks. What we can be sure of however is that they didn’t sleep on the floor.

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