Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 13 (1996-1997). Copyright © Arwen L. Feather; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


Architecture, as a technological strategy, provides shelter from the environment with the minimum possible cost in construction and maintenance of dwellings. There is a significant cross-cultural relationship between ground plan shape and settlement permanence. Circular ground plans are associated with impermanent settlements and rectangular ground plans with permanent settlements. The structural strengths and weaknesses that exist in the dwellings with either circular or rectangular ground plans contrast with each other and affect selection. Architectural design, then, is determined by choices between the needs of people in a given environment and what costs adapting to that will incur.

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