Giora Solar and Sherrell Medbery, according to Lawrence Stager’s Reconstruction

Israelite pillared house. The typical Israelite house in the Iron I period (1200–1000 B.C.E.) and later was home to both animals and people. Averaging about 50 feet long and 30 feet wide, it was small, but efficient in its design.

The flat roof made of earth and chalk, could be tamped down with a roller, as shown, after a rain. Food preparation took place in the central, main room. Here a woman grinds grain after having readied a fire on the hearth in the middle of the room. A cistern hewn in the bedrock below the floor would provide stored water. To the left of the entrance to the broadroom, another domestic chore, weaving, is done on a vertical loom.

The ground-floor side-rooms stabled the family’s livestock, which were probably brought in at night. In winter, the animals’ body heat, radiating upward, would have helped warm the second floor, where the family ate and slept. Paving stones in the side rooms allowed secure footing as urine seeped between the stones, into the earth below. Low curtain-walls, some with built-in in mangers, kept the animals in their place.