Furniture has long decorated our homes and lives, for as long as human society has existed. The oldest known use of furniture dates back to 3000-4000BC during the stone age when humans would use large natural or carved rocks and boulders as rudimentary stools and desks. The oldest direct reference to seating dates back some 7000-8000 years and is a carved figurine of a seated woman thought to be giving birth on a throne. The figure is often thought to be depicting an early ‘Mother Goddess’.
So, for thousands of years humans have created furniture to adorn their living spaces, from the earliest stone slab beds to our modern-day luxuries. Over these few blogs we’re going to break down the main styles of furniture throughout human history, starting with the most ancient and working our way through to the most contemporary designs!
The Stone Age
As mentioned above, stone age furniture was mostly fashioned from rock to function as basic chairs or surfaces. But stone age humans also took advantage of wood and animal bones, especially mammoth ones! Once humans began developing stone tools, we then used whatever materials were available to us to fashion our furniture. It’s most likely that the earliest furniture ever used were simply natural features of the landscape, like tree stumps as chairs or areas of thick grass or moss as beds.
Ancient Egypt had an intense inequality between its rich and poor. The rich would live lavish existences in large homes gilded with all varieties of precious metals, while the poor resided in dirt huts with barely the basic necessities. Furniture in Ancient Egypt was mostly crafted from wood and adorned with gold, silver, or precious gems to match the rest of their brightly coloured and extravagant décor. The Ancient Egyptians would use wooden head rests in place of soft pillows, decorated with protective images of the gods to watch over them in their slumber. The furniture popularized in Ancient Egypt went on to be exported and gave strong influence to the Ancient Greek and Roman furniture that followed.
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