If Your Tool is Mosaic, All the World’s a Tessera

*Tessera- noun.  A piece put into a mosaic.  Plural- tesserae.

Yes, friends, there are these lovely little pieces of colored chocolate candy that look JUST LIKE ROCKS!  Of course, I use them for mosaic.

This was our Christmas cake, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day“:

mosaic cake made from chocolate pieces

This week it is my turn to bring snacks for my Sunday School class.  Our current series has been on the topic of “The Bible in Art”, taught by one of our members who is an art historian.  I thought this was a great excuse to contribute artistic refreshments, complete with faux attribution:

mosaic decorated cake of Esther and Ahasuerus

Queen Esther Appears Before King Ahasuerus in the Throne Room, 2nd Century AD, Persia.

This mosaic fragment was recently unearthed after a car bombing incident, and seems to have belonged to the Jewish settlement of Put, which lasted from about the 1st Century BCE until it was sacked in about 350 AD.  The fragment is believed to have adorned a synagogue, although the mosaic appears to have been slowly eaten away, even during the lifetime of the community.  It is supposed that the mosaic originally contained many more figures, including Esther’s two maids upon whom she leaned for support as she entered the presence of the king.  The style is unusually crude, owing to the fact that the tesserae are irregularly-shaped chocolate pieces.  The presence of the chocolate has set the biblical archaeological world, as well as the anthropological world on edge, as it seems to indicate a hitherto unsuspected trade link between the Americas and the Middle East at this early date.  Another feature of the mosaic which is unusual is that Esther wears blue eye shadow, which most certainly reflects the use of powdered lapis lazuli in this community, previously unknown among the Jews, although used for this purpose among royal Egyptians for centuries.