Adobe is one of man's first building materials. The mass of the adobe walls will absorb heat and radiate it back out into the house at night. In the summer the converse is true. Thus the swing in temperature inside the house is very mild. For thousands of years adobe houses have represented the practical wisdom of people who learned how to use the materials at hand to build homes that fitted the climate and landscape in which they lived. Adobe making runs back to the time of Pharaoh who withheld from the children of Israel the straw for sun-baked bricks. Adobe construction also embodies strands of our southwestern history. When the Spaniards came to New Mexico they found the Indians using adobe, wood, and stone to house themselves. The Indians did not make bricks, but "puddled" the mud allowing each layer to dry before adding more. Adopting these materials the Spanish made moveable sun-baked bricks, formal fireplaces, and wooden doors. "Adobe" is a Spanish word derived from the Arabic "atob," which literally means sun-dried brick. The Spanish brought to the the Southwest the craft of forming the mud into blocks in wooden molds which is still used today.