General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 Nov 2017/5 Eagle
Text Size:

Search the Site (type in white box):

Article suitable for all

Professor Anthony Aveni

Question for April 2015

Why did houses have no windows? Asked by Chalfont St. Giles Junior School. Chosen and answered by Professor Anthony Aveni.

Artist’s impression of a Maya home
Artist’s impression of a Maya home (Click on image to enlarge)

Because they were air conditioned and plenty of light came in through open doors on either side. If you live in the tropics a thatched hut allows air to flow in and out through narrow openings between the reeds and poles that make up your house. Also when you live in a tropical climate you spend most of your time outdoors. You enter your hut at night to sleep. You even go to church outdoors, worshiping in an open plaza in front of a temple rather than in a damp enclosed stone cathedral. Instead of looking up at stained glass you see your god(s) words inscribed on the facade of the temple you face. So, where you live makes a big difference on the kind of architecture you develop.

Panellist Professor Elizabeth Graham adds:-
Some had windows in that they had openings, but they had no glass. Most people did all their work outside anyway, so where they slept in hammocks they had doors but didn’t really need openings in the walls. Too many mosquitoes.

Image
Drawn specially for Mexicolore by Steve Radzi.

‘Why didn’t Aztec houses have doors?’

Professor Anthony Aveni has answered 7 questions altogether:

Is it true the Aztecs learned the cycle of Venus from the Maya?

Did the Aztecs think the earth was round or flat?

How many planets did the Aztecs believe existed?

How did Aztec people tell the time?

Did the Aztecs know of different star constellations to the ones we see today?

What sort of gadgets did the Aztecs have?

Why did houses have no windows?

Comment button