Underlying Tiles in a 15th Century Mamluk Pattern

Ron Asherov
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 167–172 Regular Papers


An analysis of a 15th century Mamluk marble mosaic pattern reveals an interesting construction method. Almost invisible cut-lines prove there was an underlying pattern upon which the artisan designed the visible pattern. This construction method allowed the artisan to physically strengthen the work and make its marble tiles more stable. We identify the underlying pattern and generate other patterns using the same underlying tiles. We conclude with an exhaustive description of all such patterns.