Women's room with a primitive loom with stone weights, sleeping platforms, a fire pit, and a dirt floor. This is one of three large rooms in Building F (longhouse) at L'anse au Meadows UNESCO Historic Site, Newfoundland. The house was reconstructed according the techniques for building sod houses used when the Vikings settled the area around 1000 AD.
Sod houses have been built for centuries and examples are known from Norway, Iceland, Ireland and the Canadian and US prairies. An excellent write up on the techniques used in the construction can be found here: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/Turf_Houses.htm. It was an inexpensive way to built a house on the treeless prairies for the pioneers migrating west. One Montana settler reported spending only $2.78 on the construction of his entire house. Because of their thick walls they were cool in summer and warm in winter and completely recyclable. But because it was built of dirt and grass it was constantly infested with bugs, mice, snakes, and assorted other pests. And the roof could start leaking or even dissolve and collapse in heavy rains. In very dry weather dirt and grass would start to crumble off the roof and fall like rain inside the house. Sounds like life in a turf house could be interesting, but challenging.
L'anse aux MeadowsUNESCO Heritage Siteturf longhousesod housewomen's roomloomfiredirt floorsleeping platformNewfoundland