"The clay, easily dug out, was mingled with thin sticks called wattle and piled in layers of ooze into the shape of a cottage. The walls were then cooked with fire to a hardness near that of brick. Topped with a thatch roof, the resulting one- or two-room house resembled some huts in coastal West Africa. Centuries later, this type of building would still be known among black Carolinians as a 'ground house.' In the hot climate, a ground house was more comfortable than a wooden cabin. Cooled by the night air, the clay held indoor temperatures down during the day."
—Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 37