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Marine Life Mosaic from House VIII Pompeii demonstrating the vermiculatum technique Roman 2nd century BCE (6) by mharrsch, via Flickr

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opus vermiculatum---taken from the latin word 'worm.' It refers to lines of tesserae that snake around a feature in the mosaic. Often 2-3 rows of opus vermiculatum appear like a halo around something in a mosaic picture, helping it stand out from the background.

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Opus Vermiculatum Mosaic Pavement Depicting Dionysus (Bacchus) Roman 3rd century CE by mharrsch on Flickr.Opus Vermiculatum Mosaic Pavement Depicting Dionysus (Bacchus) Roman 3rd century CE

Mosaico_pavimentale_–_Grotte_Celloni_–_Pal._Massimo. Floor mosaic depicting birds, fish and fruit basket. Opus vermiculatum, Roman artwork of the end of the Ist century AD/begin of the Ist century BC. National Museum of Rome.

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Mosaic floor depicting a dog and a knocked-over gold vessel. Alexandria. approx. 200-100 BC. This scene formed the center piece of a large mosaic floor. The quality is fantastic, and this period represents a high point in the mosaic craft in antiquity. Many of the tesserae (the little pieces of stone/glass that make up the floor) are only 1-2mm across, which allows the mosaicist to achieve a painting-like effect. This technique was known in antiquity as opus vermiculatum, or ‘wormy work’.

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Central panel of a floor mosaic with a cat and two ducks. Opus vermiculatum, Roman artwork of the late Republican era, first quarter of the 1st century BC. From the triclinium of a suburban villa in the Cecchignola area.

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panel triangular con un antílope (detalle del mosaico "Ganimedes y el águila") - Opus vermiculatum, Opus tesselatum

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