Neandertaler’s post on camping made me think of this:
A town, outside of Belfast, where you can see a collection of little caves. One was apparently lived in until recently by a witch, and the other was what they call (I think) a ‘hedge school,’ where they would secretly teach Gaelic to the kids at night. The witch’s house (as I remember) was a cave with a wall built over the mouth, with a door and a window in it. In other words, the missing link between cave and house.
And then, exploring around Howth, near Dublin, came upon a castle (that still had the same family living in it since the 1200’s); rooms in that castle were so dank and rocky that they seemed an awful lot like caves, and although it’s kind of obvious, it really drove home the next step of architectural evolution after the witch’s house — pile some rocks on each other and make your cave wherever you want it.
Although, speaking of animal skins, I think it’s true that folks made tents back then using bones for structure and skins for cover; i.e., living entirely inside the animal. (Evidently somebody’s tent flipped over in the wind and landed in the sea, thereby inventing the boat (the coracle) which, for example, Saint Brendan used to float from Ireland to Newfoundland in the sixth century, mad from fasting, witnessing sea monsters and cathedrals made of ice. Who knows what other solitary adventurers made the crossing in the tens of thousands of years before recorded history?)
Like the whale-skeleton temple in Moby Dick, overgrown with vegetation, turning it into a kind of living house.