Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 7–54 | Cite as

Modularity and Hierarchy in Persian Geometric Ornament

  • Peter R. CromwellEmail author


We survey 40 examples of 2-level patterns in Islamic geometric ornament from Iran and Central Asia, and identify a range of methods that can be used to explain their construction. Techniques based on modular design are shown to simplify the process. Each 2-level pattern is listed in a catalogue that gives the location, construction method, pattern type of the large and small-scale patterns, and references to photographs and other literature. We also show that a tympanum pattern in the Darb-i Imam in Isfahan is constructed by filling compartments and not by subdividing modules, as has been previously suggested. None of the medieval patterns in the catalogue is quasiperiodic.


Modular System Strip Pattern Triangular Grid Star Pattern Mirror Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pure Mathematics DivisionUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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