In the 13th century BC, the earliest windows were unglazed openings in a roof to admit light during the day. Later,[when?] windows were covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood. Shutters that could be opened and closed came next.[when?] Over time, windows were built that both protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light, using multiple small pieces of translucent material, such as flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, thin slices of marble, for example fengite, or pieces of glass, set in frameworks of wood, iron or lead. In the Far East, paper was used to fill windows. The Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology likely first produced in Roman Egypt. Namely, in Alexandria ca. 100 AD cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical properties, began to appear, but these were small thick productions, little more than blown glass jars (cylindrical shapes) flattened out into sheets with circular striation patterns throughout. It would be over a millennium before a window glass became transparent enough to see through clearly, as we think of it now.
A fixed window is a window that cannot be opened, whose function is limited to allowing light to enter (unlike an unfixed window, which can open and close). Clerestory windows in church architecture are often fixed. Transom windows may be fixed or operable. This type of window is used in situations where light or vision alone is needed as no ventilation is possible in such windows without the use of trickle vents or overglass vents.
Windows beside a door or window are called side-, wing-, and margen-lights and flanking windows.
An awning window is a casement window that is hung horizontally, hinged on top, so that it swings outward like an awning. In addition to be used independently, they can be stacked, several in one opening, or combined with fixed glass. They are particularly useful for ventilation.
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