In the Near East, plaster was used as a material for making vessels before clay was. Plaster was obtained by grinding gypsum into a powder and then mixing it with water. The advantage of plaster is that it becomes solid simply by drying in the air and does not really need to be baked. That is why a plaster coating was applied to the walls and floors of houses. Plaster was used especially to make vessels in the villages of the and regions, such as el-Kowm, where no clay is found. In these regions, plaster continued to be used even after ceramic appeared at other sites.
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