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Do you like paleolithic op‐art?

Slavik Jablan (The Mathematical Institute, Belgrade, Serbia)
Ljiljana Radović (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to consider the history of certain modular elements: Truchet tiles, Op‐tiles, Kufic tiles, and key‐patterns, which occur as ornamental archetypes from Paleolithic times until the present. The appearance of the same ornamental archetypes at the same level of the development in different cultures, distant in space and time can be described from the cybernetics point of view as a specific kind of self‐referential systems or cellular automata present in the intellectual and cultural development of mankind. The aim of this research is to show a continuity of the development of ornamental structures based on modular elements used as ornamental archetypes.


Research of the material from archaeological findings, history of art, painting, architecture, and applied arts.


Existence of universal geometrical construction principles based on modularity.

Practical implications

Creation of new patterns or designs (e.g. TeX‐fonts, tiles, etc.) based on modularity.


The paper presents a new explanation of constructions of labyrinths and different Islamic patterns.



Jablan, S. and Radović, L. (2011), "Do you like paleolithic op‐art?", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 7/8, pp. 1045-1054.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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