Mosaics Information

Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral. Small pieces, normally roughly cubic, of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae, , are used to create a pattern or picture.

The earliest known examples of mosaics made of different materials were found at a temple building in Ubaid, Mesopotamia, and are dated to the second half of 2nd millennium BC. They consist of pieces of colored stones, shells and ivory. Excavations at Susa and Choqa Zanbil show evidence of the first glazed tiles, dating from around 1500 BC. However, mosaic patterns were not used until the times of Sassanid Empire and Roman influence.

Mosaics of the 4th century BC are found in the Macedonian palace-city of Aegae and they enriched the floors of Hellenistic villas, and Roman dwellings from Britain to Dura-Europos. Splendid mosaic floors are found in Roman villas across north Africa, in places such as Carthage, and can still be seen in the extensive collection in Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. In Rome, Nero and his architects used mosaics to cover the surfaces of walls and ceilings in the Domus Aurea, built AD 64.

Wikipedia, Mosaics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaics (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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