Discover the Long and Rich History of Mosaic Art

The History of Mosaics

The oldest mosaics discovered are from 3,000 BCE in Mesopotamia, which is now known as Iraq. Using ivory shells and varying colors of stone, they were able to create the first glazed tiles. It wasn’t until many years later when tiles were arranged in patterns to make greater, larger works of art. 

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Throughout the years, mosaics have spread across the world and many are used to capture moments in history in a way that is meant to last. Since their conception, mosaics have even affected certain aspects of mathematics, creating a new field known as tessellation which has been adopted for use in digital imaging as well.

During the Byzantine era (4th to 15th century CE) mosaics became a popular artistic method of decorating religious buildings. During the Byzantine period, a wide variety of materials began to be used in including glass, gold and precious stones. To create the tesserae, a hammer and chisel-like blade (now called a hardie) were used to cut the material to the needed shape.