Besides the roof there is no more important structure for the protection of the dwelling than the wall of the home. Early men who never had the luxury of a cave draped hides over a framework or stacked rocks to fend off the wind and sleet. The people of the North American plains used buffalo hides to this effect. In other parts of the world a lime paste was mixed with sand to fill the holes in rock walls.
During the long winters people began to decorate the interior of their dwellings with pictures and storyboards that told of brave exploits or tried to capture the spirit of an animal in a drawing. The wall became a artist’s canvas as well as a protective barrier. Even plastered walls became drawing boards that were decorated with artwork and mosaic s featuring coloured rocks.
Plastered walls became popular in Europe after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The King of France ordered that all wood walls be plastered as fire breaks to prevent such an episode happening there. This took mountains of plaster outside Paris and the substance became known as Plaster of Paris. Until the invention of Portland cement Plaster of Paris became a staple in the plastering field and is still used today in ornamental work.