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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.

In the Late Middle Ages in the Netherlands, were houses only for sale or could one as well rent a house (NL)?

There are limited numbers or other facts from before 1900. What is clear is that renting or tenancy of land and house found its origin in the Middle Ages, or even before that. The population was by far oriented on the agrarian way...

Since you have a fire in the house and only a small hole in each end of the house, didn’t people suffer from smoke inhalation (SE)?

Well, from what we’ve seen we don’t need any more openings for the smoke to get out. The ones in each end creates a draft which makes the smoke rise up to the ceiling and escape easily without allowing any to be disturbing.

You have something hanging above the fire, what’s that (SE)?

It is a protection for the roof, to keep sparks from getting up in to it. Right now we have a piece of wool cloth, in our last house we had animal skin. As soon as we can we are building a frame of willow which we are going to coat with clay.

Did they have chimneys in prehistory (CZ)?

They did not have chimneys in our sense of the word, but from at least the Bronze Age we presume that makeshift chimneys, for example made from wicker and daubed with clay would take smoke from hearths through ceilings...

How heavy are the stones of a megalithic tomb (NL)?

There are both large and small megalithic tombs in Drenthe (NL). The largest is near Borger. The most heavy stones used for this one weigh about 23,000 kilos!

How did people build megalithic tombs (NL)?

First, enough large stones needed to be collected. Presumably this happened in the neighbourhood where the megalithic tomb was planned. Researchers presume the stones were not moved...

Why didn't people build houses from stone (DE)?

Technologically speaking, stone constructions have been known in Central Europe since the Early Iron Age. But in those times stone was rather used for city walls than ordinary houses, because of its limited availability...

Wooden castles, did they at all exist (DE)?

Apart from the prehistoric and early medieval large castles, all the way into the High and Late Middle Ages, there were wooden castles. Partly these were, like...

What were roofs made from during the Bronze Age (CZ)?

Remains of roofs are rarely preserved so we know little about them. They may have been thatched but at that time people did not grow corn with long stalks as rye later in Middle Ages and modern times and...