Ethnographic parallels · 2005-06-13

I did find some ethnographic parallels that reinforce the nautical hypothesis, originally conceived to explain the Greek Architecture. Vikings and Polynesians were seafaring people, and built boat-shaped houses.

An expressive photograph can be viewed at the Ale Viking-Age Project. Jochen Komber, architect and archaeologist, argues: “Viking Age architecture is characterized by the boat-shaped longhouse, a house with convex outer walls and straight gable walls. (...) The most probable assumption (...) is that the boat-shaped form is not limited to the two-dimensional plane, but that these ground plans are projections of a boat-shaped architecture that entailed the buildings as a whole. This means that the roof was a kind of double curved shell, composed by curved rafters.” [here].

In Polynesian culture we find a specific architecture, the one of Tana Toraja, with the building called “tongkonan”. Some photographs can be seen at Indonesia Archaeology on the Net. Toraja legends claim that: “they arrived from the north by sea. Caught in a violent storm, their boats were so damaged as to be unseaworthy, so instead they used them as roofs for their new homes. The tongkonan, with their boat-shaped roofs, always face towards the north.”

The same origin can be assigned to the Balearian navetas “little ships”, a kind of building with ellongated horse-shoe plan dated on the Bronze Age (1600 to 1050 BC). To know more visit Arqueobalear.

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