Gypsum is one of the oldest minerals known to be used by man. Its dehydrated form is what we commonly call plaster. It was used in ancient civilizations in Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, as well as Medieval England for reproductions of statues and casts of human faces. The inhabitants of Pompeii were cast in gypsum.
It was also frequently used in ancient times for “plastering of wine,” namely in France and Sicily. This was a process in which Plaster of Paris was added to wine to improve its acidity.