Mammoth to Man-Made Tents
The Evolution of Party Tents
From prehistoric days to modern-day camping events tents have been a part of human life. The earliest tent ruins have been found in France dating back between 500,000 and 400,000 B.C. The tent made of animal hides was covered over a wooden framework and pinned down by stones. It was 11 X 3.5 meters long and animal fur, grass, seaweed was used as carpeting and bedding materials. Another tent was found in Russia dating back to 40,000 B.C. These tents were made of mammoth hides.
Around 450 B.C. circular shape portable tents called, Yurts were used by the nomads. These tents were augmented with stones at the base. The word ‘yurta’ or ‘yurts’ is Turkish in origin that accommodated 4 to 5 people. The surface area was approximately 18 to 20 square meters, 1.5 meters high and a small gap for ventilation was 3 meters above the ground. These tents were common during the reign of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane.
By 300 B.C., Roman soldiers started making tents out of the calf or goat skin for the military forces. Each tent could house eight soldiers; the officers had luxurious tents according to their ranks. It is said that a Roman soldier spent 28 years of his life in the camp and, therefore, small-scale cities, such as Turin, York, were born. The Roman tents continued under the Byzantine rule and gradually, influenced European models.
The Ottoman Turks used tents to hold banquets, receive guests and conduct other ceremonies. These also had baths and bathrooms, a concept inspired by the Romans. Usually red, blue and white color tents were used. The American Indians called their tents, tepees or wigwams where small pieces of bison hides were sewn together. Women and dogs helped in transporting the oval-shaped tents that had a small opening at the summit to allow smoke escape. Soon, the horses started carrying tents in the 16th century and tents became bigger.
During the civil war in 1861, American soldiers started calling their tents ‘Pup Tent’ because they believed that it was not even fit for a dog. Unlike the cotton satin fabric and aluminum poles, the earlier pup tent was made of cotton duck material and wooden poles. Today, it is used by hikers because of their small size as it can accommodate two adults easily.
Around the 70s, robust, lighter materials came; poles were made of aluminum and synthetic materials such as rayon, polyester, nylon replaced canvas to beat the harsh weather conditions. The wedding tent is a technological marvel safeguarding the person from inclement weather while spending their days outdoors.