Ancient Mesopotamian Houses & Homes

Mesopotamian houses were first built during the time of the Sumerian empire characterized by some of the greatest ancient cities known to historians the world over. The society comprised of wealthy merchants and priests who belonged to the upper classes, and there were houses of craftsmen and trades people as well.


The rich people, primarily the priests and merchants lived in double stories dwellings, whereas the trader people and craftsmen had single story houses. The materials used by ancient Sumerians to build their houses were dried mud bricks. The houses had a central courtyard for natural light and air while providing the much needed security and protection from bad weather.

The downstairs room for the wealthy was reserved for guests and houses had a kitchen, fireplace and bathrooms. Bedrooms were located upstairs and opened up to a balcony.

The balcony was made in such a way that one could come down easily to the courtyard. But natural resources were always the main ingredients for Mesopotamian homes. Most home owners slept on beds, while some chose to sleep on mats placed on the floor.

Mud walls, reeds, clusters and hearth:

Places of shelter developed into huts in ancient Mesopotamia and they were sunk into the ground. Houses had an entrance, a mud wall and a hearth, and they played a very important role in the spiritual life of the communities.

Mesopotamia houses were built from tall reeds placed on the ground in parallel rows where the tops were tied together and covered with matting. Even to this day, the Marsh house is a common site in Mesopotamia.

In ancient Mesopotamia, the guest house has long been legendary and was known as the MUDHIF house. People were so boisterous and noisy that they woke up even the Gods.

According to ancient lore, a God had screamed at a home owner and told him to bring down the reed house and live in a boat. Houses had shared walls like the townhouses. Homes of the rich were sometimes three storied and the doors led to a courtyard in Mesopotamia houses.
This article gives information on: Houses in Ancient Mesopotamia