Before ceramic began to be used, Neolithic societies developed the skill of making utilitarian containers out of vegetable fiber. Basketwork is attested in the Near East as of the ninth millennium BC. Since the materials used were perishable, what is known about the basketry of the period comes from imprints of baskets left in plaster. Frag¬ments like this one suggest that baskets may have been used in the preparation of plaster.
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