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Plaster

PLASTER. The Egyptians plastered their stone buildings, even the finest granite, inside and out, to make a smooth surface for decoration. The poor used a mixture of clay and straw. On better buildings the first coat was gypsum and red clay or ashes, the finish coat slaked lime and white sand, sometimes including chopped straw. In Palestine and Syria, an outside clay coating had to be renewed after the rainy reason. Mortar was usually made with limestone, the process of its manufacture otherwise similar to that in Egypt. The Arabic word for mortar means “clay.” Hebrew sîdh (Deut.27.2, Deut.27.4) means “to boil up,” because of the action when water is poured on unslaked lime. Hebrew gîr (Dan.5.5) means “burned in a kiln” (either lime or gypsum). Tûah (Lev.14.42-Lev.14.48) means “to daub, smear.”