Syria has sheltered a vast array of cultures and ethnicities throughout history. Each has contributed to the shaping of its multicultural and multi-ethnic identity, most significantly through art and architecture. Buildings — private houses in particular — have embodied the different expressions of this identity, creating a more personal and self-contained space for individuals and family units. Houses were designed and decorated using diverse means and materials such as wood, ceramics, stonework, glass, ivory, and textiles. These houses created a unique, yet intimate personal space that is nonetheless representative of larger notions of belonging.