I confess that, as an illustrator, I’ve never really gotten into doing cutaway views. In the right hands, they can certainly be quite engaging and done in a way that is both informative and beautiful, but I’ve also seen plenty of examples that offered the worst of both worlds, so to speak. For my part, I prefer whenever possible to stick with a more “straight up” depiction that most powerfully captures the aura of the thing and leave the other details to accompanying charts or diagrams. (That’s my aesthetic preference, but it also has to be acknowledged that the technical demands of creating a really good cutaway view will almost certainly multiply the labor involved by a significant factor as well.)
Be that as it may, I knew from the get-go that this was probably going to be one of those illustrations for the HCSB Study Bible that would indeed demand some sort of cutaway view, and so I girded up my loins and got down to it. Drawing upon my own research of domestic architecture from the region and the time period (which basically encompasses the time immediately following the Exodus and conquest of Canaan, ca. 15th century B.C, up through New Testament times), I submitted the initial sketch below.
Although I dare say that there probably existed at least one or two residences in ancient Israel that looked almost identical to my first stab (just a touch of wry sarcasm but no gall intended here), the archaeological consultant for the project suggested a more “typical” layout, and so the illustration was revised along those lines.