Tesserae thickness at Ostia Antica

A very good photo from James Vance (his blog is linked at the end) of tesserae from one of the mosaics at Ostia Antica in Italy. It shows just how deep some of these tesserae were.

The questions I feel this brings up are;
Seeing as you can have relatively thin marble tesserae for a floor then what dictated the size of tesserae? Was it;
1. The area they were in, i.e. high foot traffic, private rooms?
2. The size of slabs/tiles they were cut from?
3. The preference of the mosaicists?

I don’t imagine there is a database of tesserae thickness with the above points taken account of but it would be useful to have these details recorded. If anyone has the opportunity to record the details (measurements and point 1 above) then please could you send them onto me, thanks.

Image copyright James Vance

http://gallivance.net/2014/01/20/mules-gods-and-ad-men-ostia-anticas-mosaics/ blog



5 Responses to Tesserae thickness at Ostia Antica

  1. […] If you’re interested in mosaics and their construction, check out Lawrence’s website. There’s some pretty cool stuff […]

  2. restlessjo says:

    It’s an excellent shot for the purpose, isn’t it? Nice to meet you, Lawrence. 🙂

  3. Lawrence, I’m coming your way via James & Terri at Gallivance. Since we’re now in Split, Croatia (a place with Roman mosaics in Diocletian’s Palace) your work with mosaics piqued my curiosity. Really interesting!

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