In first-century Israel, construction techniques varied according to the economic circumstances of the builder and the availability of materials. Many small houses were built of sun-dried mud bricks or of rough-hewn stones. Often the interior walls were plastered. The floors were typically of beaten earth, though some were paved. A dirt roof rested on branches, reeds, and rafters, which overlaid wooden beams that were supported by posts. The dirt was pressed down, forming a plaster that made a reasonably waterproof ceiling. Occupants could access the roof by means of stairs or, in poorer homes, an outside ladder. Poor people had very little furniture.