metalwork technique developed in Rome and widely used during the 3rd century AD, especially appropriate for making arabesques and other nonrepresentational ornamental designs. Probably of Syrian origin, the technique consists of piercing holes in the metal to create an openwork design suggesting lacework. Opus interassile was often used for large wheels placed next to the clasps of loop-in-loop chains. The Roman opus interassile technique survived in certain Byzantine and early Christian designs, such as crescent-shaped earrings.
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