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central panel with figure representations-people, animals, and other objects-or occasionally another featured design motif in a Hellenistic or Roman mosaic. Emblemata were usually executed in opus vermiculatum, very fine work with tiny tesserae (stone, ceramic glass, or other hard cubes), and surrounded by floral or geometric designs in coarser mosaic work

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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