Did you know many of the home security measures we use today were originally created for war?
From 30th century BC to the Middle Ages (ended in the 15th century), there were a countless number of battles as empires sought more land. And because of the constant conflict, numerous advances in defenses were made.
Moats, walls and gates and were all created to defend strategic establishments, such as forts, castles and even entire cities. It didn’t take long for these defensive fortifications to be used for personal home security. Although humans still used weaponry and guard dogs to defend their properties, they no longer relied on them. Now, they could construct defenses designed to keep people out completely.
Let’s take a look at how moats, walls and gates were used originally, compared to how they’re still being used today.
If you want to live on an island, but don’t have the money, just make your own. That’s the concept of a moat, a deep broad ditch that surrounds an establishment, man-made and typically filled with water.
The earliest evidence of moats were found in ancient Egypt in 3150 BC, surrounding castles. And today, you’ll still see many castles and manors that were built years ago with their original moat intact. It’s much more difficult to find a modern home surrounded by water, but if you look around hard enough, you’ll find them.
Walls and Gates
Walls are one of those things we (at least I do) take for granted. They keep things quiet and they give us privacy. Most importantly, walls help us keep unwanted people out!
While just about any shelter used during the Stone Age had walls, it wasn’t until about 6500 BC in the city of Jericho when defensive walls were constructed around entire settlements. The famous wall, the Great Wall of China, was built to protect an entire country.
When you have a wall, you need a way to get in and out. Gates provided an easy way to come and go as you choose, while also not hurting your security. They’ve come in all shapes and sizes, from reinforced doors to the portcullis.
Many present-day homes still have walls, fences and gates around the perimeter, keeping intruders at bay. Some are more effective than others, but even the most rickety fence sends the clear message of “stay out.”
The Next Step
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to swim through a moat, find a way over a wall or through a gate.
Unfortunately, as humans (and technology) became more advanced, constructed defenses such as moats and walls were no longer the most effective methods of warding off intruders. There had to be a new way for humans to secure their home, so naturally, that meant hiring other people to guard it.
Next time on A History of Home Security: security guards!