Furniture is anything on which people sit, sleep, or eat. So when the early caveman slept on a wolf skin on the floor, that was his furniture. When he made a crude box in which to keep his bone tools, he made the first chest. The first records we have of furniture as we think of it today come from the Egyptians. At least 4,000 years ago, they were using chairs, tables, stools, and chests. Some of the chairs had high backs and arms, decorated with carved animals’ heads.
Others were simple square stools with crossed legs that folded together like camp chairs. Egyptian beds were only a framework, often very low. The Egyptians did not use pillows. They used head-rests of wood and ivory. The Babylonians and Assyrians also had elaborate furniture. Kings and queens rested on high couches with footstools or sat in high-backed chairs while they ate from high stands and tables.
Greek home life was very simple. The Greeks used only beds, chairs, and light tables for serving food. During meals the men rested on low beds and the women sat in chairs. The beds were like the Egyptian beds.
The Romans copied Greek styles. But they liked to fill their houses with objects for decorations, so they needed more kinds of furniture. They developed the cupboard, which they used for storing extra objects. They also used carved and painted wooden chests. The Romans made tables with metal, ivory, and stone decorations.
What Is Furniture Called?
Furniture includes objects such as tables, chairs, beds, desks, dressers, and cupboards.