In some archeological sites, remains of mosaic-like works have been excavated. The remains dated back as early as 4th millennium BC. It was from the Sumerians living in South Mesopotamia. The mosaic-like work consisted of clay, onyx, and cockleshells and it was found in the temple of Ouruk. In the Greek area of west Asia Minor, rubble floors were also found. It shows that the Greeks somehow knew about the art.
Another area in Greece, in Olinthos, natural pebbles was used to decorate the drawings. Such drawings were inspired by the ancient myths. A floor mosaic was found which dates back to 432-348 BC which shows Bellerophon slaying Chimaira while riding a Pegasus.
In Macedonia Greece, another floor mosaic was found but this time, it was made from glass pieces. According to experts, the mosaic was created in the 4th century BC.
The 2th century also showed mosaic pieces of glass, marble, and stone but this time, the mosaics were of different designs and colors.
From the Greeks, mosaics were spread to Italy, specifically in Rome and Pompeii. You can find mosaics in their baths, temples, and houses but it only utilized a certain technique called monochrome. During the Byzantine era, the mosaic artists became top quality artists. Most of the time, walls and floors were used as base for many mosaic arts. The palaces, temples, and vaults were also decorated with mosaic work and the artists also used natural stones, marble, gold, silver, and colored glass.
The artists used a variety of themes. Some of them used ancient myths, faces of emperors and empresses, hunting scenes, religion, belief, and many other designs.
The Greek’s favorite tesserae were pebbles especially for their floors. The Macedonians used polychrome pebbles for buildings and other prominent structures.
If you happen to be in Greece, don’t forget to check out Chios. It offers a magnificent historical attraction – Nea Moni. It is only about 11 kilometers away from the main city of Chios. According to written history, the monastery was founded by hermit monks. These monks found a Virgin icon and they persuaded Constantine IX to build a church and monastery. Its ecclesiastical architecture has attracted many people from different parts of the world, especially those who love mosaic art. The mosaics in Chios are highly regarded.
For other works of art, you can visit Palace of Ioustiniani, the Byzantine Museum, and the Maritime Museum. While enjoying the amazing mosaics in Greece, you can also check out the traditional festivals there. Even tourists can participate in the festivals which showcase traditional dances, drinks, and foods. You can witness these festivals on the month of August. From May to October, Greece is a great place to visit because of its fair weather. Summer vacation in Greece can be fun as you explore many interesting places. Visit the museums in the area and see the beautiful mosaic works from the ancient times.
The Greeks played an important role in the development of mosaic. The ancient people were already creative and used their imagination to create fantastic works of art which stood the test of time. For centuries, the ancient mosaics were buried underground and yet, when they were finally uncovered, most of the mosaics were still in good condition.
Truly the works of the ancient people were among the best. Visit Greece and don’t forget to check out the mosaics.