Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Heart of the City, A Hearth

The heart of any city is the first home, a place around the hearth. I wish I could call this idea a five minute map, but it took me far longer.



This is a neolithic like structure. Starting in the approximate center is the hearth, edged by two ironwood tripods for cooking and swinging spit. Just to the north is the ladder that provides access and egress for smoke from the hearth. Unshown is the roof, which is a flat square platform mounted on 4 posts. From the crossbeams out, the roof is tilted down to provide a channel for the smoke and heat. Sometimes a woven reed curtain is hung from the ceiling to direct the path of smoke.

On the southern and eastern walls are two large tunnels in which the inhabitants use bone tools to mine flint, very much like the builders of Stonehenge. The Pueblo homes that this structure is also based on had special vents to allow the fire to allow air in. In this case, the tunnels are connected to other natural spaces to provide draw for the fire. In front of each tunnel is a low wing wall, colored with black, indigo and red patterns typical to this tribe.

Along the western wall is a large deck for sleeping. It is about 12 inches from the floor and is sloped into the center of the room like the beds at Fort Niagara. This allows people awoken by threats to stand up quickly without the effects of syncope. Although four bedrolls are shown, perhaps as many as a 8-10 people could sleep comfortably, family style.

On the north wall is a nook for cooking supplies and the niche doubles as an altar for the tribe's parton gods and goddesses. Due to the nature of the structure, all valuables in the niche are in plain sight.

The walls are coated in a concoction of chalk and mud to make a brighter living space.

Scale: One Square equals 2.5 feet. The total structure is 40 feet across and 60 feet below ground.