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The Islamic world, primarily of Asia and North Africa, took a radically different approach to mosaics than Europe did. Instead of using tesserae (the small, usually square tiles made from clay, stone of glass) to create a larger recognizable picture, Islamic artists used them to create complex patterns instead. Usually these mosaics formed tessellations, repeating geometric designs of polygons that have no overlaps of gaps.
The eight-point star as a symbol marks early human understanding of the intellegent order that underlies our universe. Today, it carries religous and mystical associations. Known as the khatam in Islamic cultures, it and its variants are found at the center of stunning zillij masterpieces throughout Morocco.