House of the Tiles

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Remains of stairway

The House of the Tiles is a monumental (12 x 25 m),[1] Early Bronze Age building at the archaeological site of Lerna in southern Greece. It is notable for several architectural features that were advanced for its time, notably its roof covered by baked tiles, which gave the building its name.[2] The building belongs to the "corridor house" type.[3]

The structure dates to the Early Helladic period II (2500–2300 BC). It is sometimes interpreted as the dwelling of an elite member of the community, a proto-palace, or administrative center. Alternatively, it has also been considered to be a communal structure, i.e., the common property of the townspeople.[4] The exact function remains unknown due to a lack of small finds indicating the specific uses of the building.[4]

The house had a stairway leading to a second story, and was protected by a tiled roof.[5] Debris found at the site contained thousands of terracotta tiles having fallen from the roof.[6] Although such roofs were also found in the early Helladic site of Akovitika[7] and later in the Mycenaean towns of Gla and Midea,[8] they only became common in Greek architecture in the 7th century BC.[9] The walls of the House of the Tiles were constructed with sun-dried bricks on stone socles.[2]

Carbon-14 dates indicate that the place was finally destroyed by fire in the 22nd century BC.[6] Not long after the destruction, the place was cleared in a such a way as to leave a low tumulus over the site.[6]