Ancient Chinese Houses - China Facts for Kids!

Ancient Chinese Houses

chinese house

There were really two kinds of houses in ancient China - poor people's houses (which is most of them) and rich people's houses (not very many).

chinese house

Poor people's houses were generally just one room, made of rammed earth (like mudbrick). The roof was usually made of thatch. These houses were a lot like poor people's houses in West Asia or Egypt or Greece or Africa.

Rich people's houses were much bigger. They had a high wall made of rammed earth all the way around them, with no windows and just one door, to keep the family safe. As soon as you went through this door, you would see another short wall in front of you. This was the screen wall, which kept people from seeing into your courtyard as they walked by, for privacy. All around the courtyard there were rooms. In a very fancy house there were two storeys, and a balcony on the inside of the upper storey overlooking the courtyard.

Inside the Chinese house

General information on ancient houses

More Chinese Architecture

Ancient China home

To find out more about ancient Chinese architecture, check out these books from or from your library:

The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, by Jessica Rawson and others (1996). Rawson is a curator at the British Museum, and she uses the collection of the British Museum to illustrate this book. Library Journal calls it "easily the best introductory overview of Chinese art to appear in years".

Art in China (Oxford History of Art Series), by Craig Clunas (1997). Not specifically for kids, but a good introduction to the spirit of Chinese art. Warning: this one is not arranged in chronological order. Instead, it has chapters on sculpture, calligraphy, and so on.

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