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Post in ground

An earthfast shelter. The posts are buried in the ground so no bracing is necessary.
Some researchers consider sills placed on the ground, rather than on a foundation, to fall under the type earthfast construction. Fishing house without a chimney, circa 1750. Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum

Post in ground (Also called Poteau en terre, post in ground construction, earthfast,[1] hole-set posts), is a type of construction in which vertical, roof-bearing timbers, called posts, are placed into excavated post holes.[2] Earthfast construction is common from the Neolithic period to the present and is used world-wide. Post-in-the-ground construction is sometimes called an "impermanent" form such as for houses which are expected to last a decade or two before a better quality structure can be built.[3]

Post in ground construction can also include sill on grade, wood-lined cellars, and pit houses. Most pre-historic and medieval wooden dwellings were built post in ground worldwide.


  • History 1
  • Gallery 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


This type of construction is often believed to be an intermediate form between a palisade construction and a stave construction. Because the postholes are easily detected in archaeological surveys, they can be differentiated from the other two.

It was one of the timber construction methods used for French colonial structures in New France.

The Japanese also used earthfast construction they call Hottate-bashira (literally "embedded pillars")[4] until the eighteenth century.

Some places the people still use post in ground construction such as the Toguna shelter of the Dogon people in Africa.


See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0). Oxford University Press, 2009
  2. ^
  3. ^ Carson, Cary, Norman F. Barka, William M. Kelso, Garry Wheller Stone, and Dell Upton. “Impermanent Architecture in the Southern American Colonies.” Material Life in America, 1600-1860, edited by Robert Blair St. George, 113-158. Boston: Northern University Press, 1988.
  4. ^ Gina Lee Barnes. Yamato: archaeology of the first Japanese state. googlebooks?id=S-sDAQAAIAAJ

External links

  • Earthfast Architecture at the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

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