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History of Gypsum

Home Page History of Gypsum

History of Gypsum

According to geologists, the period of disappearance of Dinosaurs and appearance of gypsum layers which were resulted from dryness of seas is far older than creation of civilization on planet Earth.

Evidence shows the antiquity of some remaining gypsum relics in the plateau of Anatoly and Syria goes back as far as 9000 years. Also, it is proven that the civilizations of Sumerian, Assyrians, Egyptian, Greek and Roman which governed in the neighboring territories and certainly have had interaction with one another used gypsum as construction materials as well.

The most famous and important cases of gypsum application in that period was making set of ornaments and sculptures from material namely Albestron which is a type of semi-clear gypsum and probably its name was derived from Egyptian city Alabestron.

However, the history of human usage from gypsum as plaster for white coat of tombs’ walls reaches as far as 5000 years ago in the country Egypt which by heating gypsums next to fire, gypsum transforms to powder and then by mixing the resulting powder with water utilize the final product as coating for brick & stone.

During many centuries, human have obtained variety of skills in particular to curing and use of plaster in various regions of the world. In 1700 A.D the city Paris was center of plaster (Plaster of Paris) because the entire walls of wooden houses were covered by plaster to prevent them from fire accident. The king of France announced this as compulsory law after the city of London completely destroyed due to fire accident in 1666 A.D.

For the first time the chemical composition of gypsum was subject of exploration in country France since 1700 A.D. and the results of its utilization in regeneration of soil particularly as a natural fertilizer containing elements of Calcium and Sulfur over products like vegetables, Peanuts, Cotton & Potato was published for the first time in 18th century by a French chemist namely Lavoisier.

In the subsequent centuries, the culture of usage from plaster developed in such a way that nowadays more than one hundred countries around the globe are consumers of more than one million tons of gypsum.


Short History of Gypsum In Country IRAN

Construction industry in country Iran had a close relation with plaster and has been considered as one of a traditional construction materials since pre-Islamic period (2500 years ago). Plaster have remained as a keepsake in arched coating of canals in parts of Persepolis’ building form Achaemenian period. In the Sasanian period, mortar of plaster in skeleton buildings has had numerous applications as well as for facade.

One of the artistic phenomena in unique architecture of Iran is plaster molding which through archeological excavations some samples and marks were obtained from circulation of this art in times of Sasanian.

Generally the works of plaster molding could be observed in Iran’s various periods which the following examples in various period could be referred. In the period of Seljukian, the Jam-e mosque of Saveh; Alavian mosque in Hamadan. In the period of Ilkhanian, the tomb of Bayazid-e- Bastamie in Bastam. In period of Timurids, the tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Jamie in Torbat-e-Jam. In the period of Safavid, the Kakh-e-Ali-Qapu in Esfahan. In the period of Zandieyeh, the building of Kolah-Frangie in Shiraz and in the period of Qajar, the Kakh-e- Golestan in Tehran could be cited.

Plaster was the only elementary means and with low technology and produced with traditional methods up to year 1966 in IRAN. The growth of urban development, inferior quality of products, lack of mass production and cost price being high in the method of traditional production in that period paved the way the necessary motivation for investment and establishment of machine-made plaster plants in IRAN.

The principal reserves of gypsum in the world amounts to 3.3 billon metric tones which this amount was considered as minimum estimation and much more is predictable.