By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Ain Ghazal Statues: Early Plaster Art

Ain Ghazal Statues: Early Plaster Art

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -7200
Post Date: 04/11/2024

The Ain Ghazal statues, dating back to around 7200 BCE, are among the earliest known examples of human figures crafted from plaster, highlighting an advanced use of materials in the Neolithic period. This technique involved applying plaster, made from lime and powdered limestone, over a core of reeds and twine to create lifelike statues with detailed facial features and expressive eyes made from bitumen. The use of plaster for such artistic and possibly ritualistic purposes at Ain Ghazal predates many other known uses of the material in sculpture. While plaster had been used in simple construction and repair tasks even earlier, the sophisticated application at Ain Ghazal marks a significant development in the artistic capabilities of Neolithic societies.

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