A type of decoration created by using small rectangles of a material set flush with the surface of the body to create a design.

This word has nothing to do with Moses. Its root was the Greek mousa, a muse, suggesting something artistic. The same root appears in our “museum,” literally a place where artistic work is exhibited. Through the Latin it came into modern languages and during the Middle Ages became narrowed down to mean a pattern formed by small pieces of inlay, a form of decorative work much in vogue during the time of the Operative Masons. Our “mosaic pavement is so called because it consists of an inlay pattern, small black and white squares alternating to suggest day and night.

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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