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Stilt houses or pile dwellings or palafitte are houses raised on piles over the surface of the soil or a body of water. Stilt houses are built primarily as a protection against flooding, but also serve to keep out vermin. The shady space under the house can be used for work or storage.
In the Neolithic and Bronze Age, stilt-houses settlements were common in the Alpine and Pianura Padana (Terramare) region. Remains have been found at the Ljubljana Marshes in Slovenia and at the Mondsee and Attersee lakes in Upper Austria, for example. Early archaeologists like Ferdinand Keller thought they formed artificial islands, much like the Scottish Crannogs, but today it is clear that the majority of settlements were located on the shores of lakes and were only inundated later on. Reconstructed stilt houses are shown in open air museums in Unteruhldingen and Zürich (Pfahlbauland). In June 2011, the prehistoric pile dwellings in six Alpine states were designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. A single Scandinavian pile dwelling, the Alvastra stilt houses, has been excavated in Sweden.
According to archeological evidences stilt-houses settlements were an architectural norm in the Caroline Islands and Micronesia and are still present in Oceania today. Today, stilt houses are still common in parts of the Mosquito Coast in northeastern Nicaragua, northern Brazil, South East Asia, Papua New Guinea and West Africa. In the Alps, similar buildings, known as raccards, are still in use as granaries. In England, granaries are placed on staddlestones, similar to stilts, to prevent mice and rats getting to the grain. Stilted graneries are also a common feature in West Africa, e.g., in the Malinke language regions of Mali and Guinea.
Western hemisphere 
Summer, family dwellings of the natives of the Kamchatka Peninsula
or Kamchadals. Their winter dwellings were earth sheltered and communal.
Stilt houses are also common in the western hemisphere, and appear to have been an indigenous creation by the Amerindians in pre-Columbian times. They are especially widespread along the banks of the tropical river valleys of South America (Palafito), notably the Amazon and Orinoco river systems. Stilt houses were such a prevalent feature along the shores of Lake Maracaibo that Amerigo Vespucci was inspired to name the region "Venezuela" (little Venice). As the costs of hurricane damage increase more and more houses along the Gulf Coast are being built as or converted to stilt houses.
Types of stilt house 
- Kelong - Built primarily for fishing, but often doubling up as offshore dwellings in the following countries: Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
- Nipa hut - The traditional house-type prevalent in the Philippines although modern Philippine houses are mostly westernized.
- Palafito - Found throughout South America since Pre-Columbian times.
- Pang uk - A special kind of house found in Tai O, Lantau, Hong Kong, mainly built by Tankas.
- Papua New Guinea stilt house - A kind of stilt house constructed by Motuans, commonly found in the southern coastal area of PNG.
- Thai stilt house - A kind of house often built on freshwater, e.g., a lotus pond.
- Vietnamese stilt house - Similar to the Thai ones, except having a front door with a smaller height for religious reasons.
- Heliotrope - A concept house designed by Rolf Disch with a single stilt, optimized for harnessing solar power.
- Diaojiaolou - Stilt houses in southern China. (Diao Jiao Lou in Chinese.)
See also 
- ^ David M. Bush (June 2004). Living with Florida's Atlantic beaches: coastal hazards from Amelia Island to Key West. Duke University Press. pp. 263–264. ISBN 978-0-8223-3289-3. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- ^ Our Experts. Our Living World 5. Ratna Sagar. p. 63. ISBN 978-81-8332-295-9. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- ^ Cambodian Heritage Camp yearbook
- ^ Alan W. Ertl (15 August 2008). Toward an Understanding of Europe: A Political Economic Précis of Continental Integration. Universal-Publishers. p. 308. ISBN 978-1-59942-983-0. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- ^ Francesco Menotti (2004). Living on the lake in prehistoric Europe: 150 years of lake-dwelling research. Psychology Press. pp. 22–25. ISBN 978-0-415-31720-7. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- ^ Paul Rainbird (14 June 2004). The archaeology of Micronesia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 92–98. ISBN 978-0-521-65630-6. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- ^ Dindy Robinson (15 August 1996). World cultures through art activities. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-1-56308-271-9. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- ^ "Fortified Home Design Pioneered on the Texas Gulf Coast". Texasgulfcoastonline.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
External links 
Northwest News and Tribune
Tue, 14 May 2013 08:52:16 -0700
Then, there's underpinning, which is like turning a house into a stilt house. Pilings are driven 6-8 feet apart and the house is actually lifted up, he said. “The home rests on piers driven down to the solid bedrock. The depth of the piers is based on ...
Council on Foreign Relations (blog)
Fri, 10 May 2013 08:26:31 -0700
What Next for Nigeria's Oil Patch? by John Campbell May 10, 2013. Children stand in front of a stilt house used as a local fuel station near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) ...
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:24:26 -0700
"It doesn't have to be done with fill and it doesn't have to be a stilt house," Brower said. Tony D'Andrea, an engineer for the applicant, dismissed Brower's arguments. "I fail to see exactly what Mr. Brower was saying," he said. "I don't think he has ...
Thanh Nien Daily
Tue, 07 May 2013 19:49:49 -0700
The stilt house resort we stayed in costs VND1 million ($47.72) per night, but a house can accommodate around ten people. Contact Ms. Huong at 0912 351 186. For eating: Restaurant 64 and Restaurant 70, which are five – seven kilometers from Moc Chau ...
Wed, 01 May 2013 22:37:21 -0700
Home away from home: This stilt house has been upgraded to serve tourists as a new home-stay model in Mai Hich Commune, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province. While the service relates to existing facilities in village and farm houses, for 38-year-old ...
Sun, 28 Apr 2013 01:56:47 -0700
You don't have nearly as many bug problems in a stilt house as with one on the ground. Seems those ants and roaches don't like to climb. Spiders too. Never had bug problems since we moved into our current stilt house. The occasional roach or spider ...
Huffington Post UK
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 04:19:57 -0700
The official climbing season runs from July to August. Another Asian nation that makes it onto the list include Myanmar or Burma, where wandering souls are urged to catch the sunrise from a stilt house on the Inle lake. inle lake burma ...
Thanh Nien Daily
Sun, 05 May 2013 20:33:59 -0700
So, he bought a stilt house there and developed it into an eco-lodge that can accommodate 60 people. Once again, he invited local people to join him in the eco-tourism project. He taught them French and English. He also sent them to Hanoi, where they ...
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