Beyond the DNA of languages and the DNA of sausages is the DNA of architecture,

the landscape of cities and culture, sky-lines crossing borders and leaving traces where people themselves feared to tread. The red tile roofs of Rome live on not only in Italy, Romania, and Spain, but in a whole continent of bastard South American children. Likewise the columns and the arches that still stand in tribute to Rome and Greece. Medieval churches taking orders from Germans and cues from Arabs still set the tone for the religions of antiquity worldwide. The same principle operates on the village level, the best example in mind being the pueblo architecture of the American southwest and parts of Mexico. This is almost the spitting image of the African desert architecture of Morocco and Mali, just enough water to hold the mud together in bricks and the buildings together in recognizable shapes of temples, mosques, and churches. Is this coincidence, or is it more? The only historical connection between the two cultures is via a third, the Spain of the Spanish and previously by code-sharing agreement, with the North African Moors, mostly Moroccan, that era coincidentally brought to an end precisely the same year that Columbus first set sail for India and found America. That sounds like some hippies I know. To be sure, there are enough similar buildings, at the Spanish village level, possibly of Moorish inspiration, to postulate a tentative connection, regardless of the fact that Spanish cities continue heavily in the Roman architectural tradition. Though there are pueblos that pre-date Spanish arrival in the Americas, certainly the classic cliff-dwelling pueblos were long discontinued and the Arizona pueblos use much stone, like Mexican ruins, rather than adobe. The New Mexican style is much closer in time and style to the Spanish, and some southwest ‘pueblos’ are in fact purely Spanish in origin. Given the fact that the word ‘adobe’ itself is of Spanish-Moorish origins, via Arabic and Egyptian Coptic, and the fact that Pueblo Indians themselves are of diverse groups and languages united more by desert lifestyle than common culture, the line of transmission across continents is probably legitimate.

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