Roman mosaics were a common feature of private homes and and public buildings across the Roman empire. Not only are mosaics beautiful works of art, but they are also an invaluable record of everyday items from the Roman times. They reveal much about Roman activities like gladiator games, agriculture, hunting, and sometimes even capture the Romans themselves in detailed and realistic portraits. Mosaics, otherwise known as opus tesellatum, were made with small colored squares (called tesserae) and were cut from materials such as marble, tile, glass, pottery, stone and even shells.
Middle school artists created their own portrait mosaics using repurposed scrap paper, wallpaper samples, beads, and yarn.