opus vermiculatum

(Latin: “wormy-work”).  In mosaic, a single row, or several rows, of small, closely set tesserae following the outline of a feature such as a face or figure.  Opus vermiculatum was generally used for emblemata, or central figural panels in larger mosaic pavements.


Dionysos Riding a Tiger (det.). Mosaic from the House of Dionysos, Delos, Greece. Late 2nd c. BCE. Delos Archaeological Museum.