Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Adobe Homes: History of Adobe Construction

Adobe walls in Madrid, New Mexico (Wikimedia Commons)
It's time for me to learn everything that I can about adobe homes, since we are in the process of buying an historical home made of adobe. It's pretty exciting to think about living in a fairly "green" home, and to realize that it has much in common with simple homes all around the world.

Adobe home being built, Milyanfan village, Kyrgyzstan (Wikimedia Commons)

My first search about the history of adobe construction turned up this information, all quoted from The Natural House; A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes, by Daniel D. Chiras.

"Although no one knows where adobe construction actually began, the earliest adobe architecture may have appeared around 6000 B.C. in the region now known as Iraq. Adobe structures have also been uncovered in Egypt, dating back to about 5000 B.C. From here, adobe building traveled to Spain, carried by the Moors, Arab and Berber soldiers who conquered Spain... From Spain, adobe construction techniques traveled to the western hemisphere around 1600 A.D., starting in South America, then spreading north into what is now known as the desert Southwest of the United States....

Adobe is not the legacy of any one culture. It was the outgrowth of necessity and local availability. However, despite the fact that adobe building emerged independently in several locations, the techniques and appearance of buildings are remarkably similar. Adobe homes in China, for example, bear an uncanny resemblance to those in the U.S. desert Southwest."

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2 comments:

the7msn said...

I can't wait to get to the part where you explain why it doesn't turn back into mud when it rains. I've always wondered about that.

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Very pretty! My husband is interested in adobe houses, too. I will be watching how things go with yours.