Decorating the Neolithic: an evaluation of the use of plaster in the enhancement of daily life in the middle pre-pottery Neolithic B of the southern Levant

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During the Middle Pre-pottery Neolithic B in the southern Levant the use of lime plaster in both ritual and domestic contexts increased significantly relative to previous periods. Its properties of whiteness, purity, plasticity and antisepsis would have made it a natural choice for decorating, and through the act of colouring disparate categories of objects were linked together. Plaster appears to have transcended its own inherent value as a material due to its interconnectedness with mortuary ritual. Because of its ubiquity, this socially ascribed value was accessible to everyone. This article will claim that plaster, and the act of plastering both ritual and domestic contexts played a key role in the creation and maintenance of community cohesion and social well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Issue number2
Early online date23 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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