The second of three pages on tessellations as actual pavements, and related aspects, of which the first has as its premise images from around the world, another on patents, and here a miscellany, covering more topics but rather of a less extensive extent, that quite simply do not justify distinct pages. As with the first page, just as this expanded in its remit, so possibly will this miscellany section, and of which if a specific entry is deemed deserving of a more dedicated treatment, this will thus have a more focused page.

To be found here are a collection of links, of both web and print, and a timeline. Some of the people mentioned here I have attempted to contact, at least where there contact details are relatively easy to find. Some, such as John Knapton, replied. Others did not, such as Guy Shachar. As ever, I am more than willing to receive correspondence on any of the below, from past or unknown people with an interest in this.

Note that as such, my interest in such matters is highly specialized; in that so much of the referenced material is not entirely ‘tessellated pavement’ focussed, but is rather of a more peripheral nature. Indeed, at times there is only the most briefest relevance here. In short, although some, if not the great majority of the references are indeed highly relevant, some papers are mentioned as ‘seen and noted’, to save any ambiguity as to possible interest. Further, some references repeat, as they have applications to different topics.

Video Links


3 minutes 52 seconds. Making of the ‘dumbbell’ type; just watch the first thirty seconds, the same thing happens throughout!


3 minutes 30 seconds. Making of the ‘wavy hexagon’ type; again, just watch the first thirty seconds, the same thing happens throughout! This paving is very common in India, widely seen.


26 seconds. Wavy rectangle moulds, side by side


43 seconds. A machine making the ‘wavy rectangles’, eight units at a time

Srikrishnaplasto company in India


References - Print and Web Links

Oldest Pavements/Road

Bown, Thomas and James Harrell. ‘The Oldest Paved Road’. The Ostracon. Volume 6 No. 3 1-5, Winter 1995

A follow-up to a 1994 The New York Times report by John Wilford, below. Gives an interesting bibliography, albeit of which time and lack of easy access (save for one other paper) to the references generally hinders, if not entirely halts, further research. However, in practice likely little is lost; more than likely, these will be beyond my special interest.

Bown, T. M. and M. J. Krauss. ‘Geology and Paleoenvironment of the Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation and Adjacent Rocks, Fayum Depression, Egypt’. US Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 1452, 1988.

A reference in Bown and Harrell’s paper ‘The Oldest Paved Road’. However, in the context of my special interest, of no inherent interest; ‘pavement’ is only mentioned once.


Harrell, J. A. and T. M. Bown. ‘An Old Kingdom Basalt Quarry at Widan el-Faras and the Quarry Road to Lake Moeris in the Faiyum, Egypt’. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Volume 32, pp. 71-91, 1995.

A reference in Bown and Harell’s paper ‘The Oldest Paved Road’, and so as by one of the authors may thus be of direct interest. However, it does not appear to be readily available, and in any case likely to be of no real interest.

Wilford, John N. 'The World's Oldest Paved Road Found in Egypt'. The New York Times, May 8, 1994
Oldest paved road, about 2600 to 2200 B.C. Also see the article above by the discoverers, Thomas Bown and James Harrell.


Srikrishnaplasto company in India


Road Transport



Hong Kong, by Dennis Hodgson.

Kyrgyzstan by Ian Claytor. http://ianbek.kg/?p=23165 A blog posting on the many geometric pavements in the capital (and largest city) of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Armenia and Kyrgyzstan by Guy Shacher. https://guyshachar.com/en/2017/soviet-pavement-tiles/ The website of Guy Shacher, titled 'Multidisciplinary view of the world', with of most interest the page titled 'Soviet pavement tiles – walking on repetitive geometry' as seen on his travels in (non-neighbouring) Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Unfortunately, the distinction between the two countries is not made clear. A mail to him went unanswered.


Japan, by Jun Nishiseko of ‘Frog & Block’ blog page.

Jun Nishiseko, from Japan, broadly of a ‘pattern enthusiast’, who describes himself as a ‘mere observer with no expertise on pavement, civil engineering and construction’. Many interesting Japanese street pavings are to be seen. Among these, this notably has three Cairo tilings, all apparently in Shizuoka Prefecture.


Cairo Tiling:



Generic Pavements




Get Lisbon



Kowsmann, Patricia. ‘In Lisbon, Some Residents Fear City’s Famous Sidewalks’. The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2014 (pp. unknown).

Of pavement interest. Laments the dangerous nature of the pavings, as well as instances in Brazil, of a history.

Subscription needed.


Lisbon, by 'Get Lisbon'

Kowsmann, Patricia. ‘In Lisbon, Some Residents Fear City’s Famous Sidewalks’. The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2014 (pp. unknown).

Of pavement interest. Laments the dangerous nature of the pavings, as well as instances in Brazil, of a history.

Subscription needed.

London, UK, by Ian.

Sofia, Bulgaria
On the yellow coloured paving in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia

São Paulo, Brazil
On the paving shaped like an outline of São Paulo


Waintraub, Tatiana and Waldemar Celes. ‘Modelling the Copacabana Sidewalk Pavement’. Published in 25th SIBGRAPI Conference on Graphics, Patterns and Images, 2012.

Advanced modelling of the Copacabana paving. A lot of Voronoi diagrams. In short, highly technical, and save for the introduction of no real interest.

Practical Aspects

A. J. McCormack. The self-styled (and for good reason!) ‘paving expert’




McCormack’s field of expertise is in the practical aspects of paving, his business being of installing, learning from his father, and has spent the whole of his adult life in the field, following in his footsteps. The site is extensive, to say the least, with over 400 pages. All, including the technicalities (in relative terms), are of a broadly popular level. Many pages are of direct interest, albeit too many to list here, but are easily found. That shown here are just a few representative examples. Highly recommended.

John Knapton
By John Knapton, of the UK, who is a world-leading authority on the technicalities of pavements. Most of the pages reflect his technical interest, and lack the visual appeal and historical matters that I broadly seek. However, there are a few pages that possess this feature, as above.


Michael Glickman.

‘The G-Block System of Vertically Interlocking Paving’. Second International Conference of Concrete Block Paving. Delft April 10-12, 1984 


Glickman, of McCauley Corporation Limited, UK, appears to be an authority on the subject. Also see his patents, with many interesting tilings, especially of a modified hexagon, forming a chevron with many different placements. Does anyone know of Glickman? Contact details appear unavailable.The first of two papers of his I have. This is the more technical, on 'G-Blocks' (although I fail to see why these are so named). Strictly, there is nothing here of direct interest.


‘Pattern, Texture and Geometry in the Paved Surface’. Proc. Third International Conference On Concrete Block Paving, 1988?. 71-74 (29 July 2014)

Despite the title, begins with a brief history of paving, with the Romans. The more interesting of his papers. Shows the 'wavy rectangle'. Only of mild interest.


Raymond S. Rollings. Concrete Block Pavements March 1983, 1-121


A technical report, for the US. Somewhat technical in places, whilst in others highly readable. Occasional illustrations. Not an easy read in finding aspects of direct interest

Dion Holland


Wood Pavements. Also see distinct patent listings

Blackie, Alex B. Wood Pavement; Its Origin and Progress, London, Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1843. Available Online.

On wood block paving, of a UK perspective. Everything one would wish to know! (Skim Read. Reference to hexagonal blocks, pp. 25-26, 28, 35-36, 39, ‘41’, 48-49, 54, 56. David Stead mentions. Illustrations only  in the Appendix, pp. 53-54, 57-58, with ‘early’ circle packing.

Nicolson Pavements.
On the originator of wood pavements, Samuel Nicolson


Williams, Kim. ‘Environmental Patterns: Paving Designs by Tess Jaray’. Nexus Network Journal 2(1):87-92 June 2000. Birkhauser Publishers, Basel.

'From Tiling the Plane to Paving Town Square', by Judith Flagg Moran and Kim Williams, pp. 5-21 in Mathematics and Culture II  2005, by Michele Emmer (ed.)
Mostly on Cosmati pavements 5-16, of lesser interest, with bricks, in Birmingham, UK, by Tess Jaray 16-21

Town Squares

Maidstone, UK. A feature here is of a weave, not seen elsewhere.

Tactile Paving

I must admit, even of this May 2019 writing, with many years studied, albeit intermittently, that largely such matters here had previously passed me by!





Scoria paving, a blue coloured brick made from the waste (slag) of the smelting process. Note that quite where the history is taken from is unclear; author after author does not state sources. However, a distinct possibility is that of Charles McNab, of whom Chris Loyd of The Northern Echo in his 2008 piece implies that this is so. (The paper covers the North-East, of Darlington, Durham, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, Bishop Auckland, and Northallerton.

1. Web Writings


See: ‘Tees Scoria’, near the top of the page

The Smell of Water (brief, picture only of double hexagon)


2. Newspapers

The Northern Echo 14th July 2008 ‘There's mortar bricks than meets the eye’ by Chris Lloyd (witty title!)



The Press, 2 March 2015

‘York Art Gallery's new exterior tiles inspired by distinctive paving in York’s back allies [sic]’

The Press is the local York newspaper. This is (or was) available online, but now I cannot find it!


3. Articles

Mullen, Bob. ‘A Slice of Industrial History in Nunthorpe’, Nunthorpe History Group Newsletter No. 5 January 2013, pp.7-8


Publications of the Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society. ‘Scoria Blocks’, by C. H. Morris pp. 22-32, No. 13 1981


Not seen. Does anyone have this?


Keith Robertson, Stoneman's Corner. ‘Lessons from the Past’, pp. 6-7. Newslink. NCCA The official journal of the Carpet Cleaners Association, June 2010


Picture of the Drummond Square, Edinborough sighting, and a general history.

Context. Institute of Historic Building Conservation, No. 152, November 2017

‘The Heritage at our Feet’, pp. 9-14



See: ‘Tees Scoria’, near the top of the page.


On the ceramic tiles based on the Scoria double hexagon design




Joseph Woodward’s patent

Woodward, Joseph. ‘Improvements in Machines for Making Bricks, Tiles &c., from Slag or Scoria’, 1877. 191,504. On the process. No tessellation as such.

Pentagonal Permable Pavers


Timeline on Pavements




A potted timeline of my wide interest in pavements and related matters on the subject itself, and not just focusing on the tessellation aspect. As such, I largely take the references here on trust. This is very much a work in progress, and still very much in the early days. Likely much has yet to be added. Bear with me on this! Although the references are indeed from noted authors and academics, there are at times a certain vagueness as to definitions of roads and pavements, and so the compilation with this in mind should duly be accepted.


4000 BC. Streets paved with cobblestones appeared in the city of Ur in the Middle East dating back to 4000 BC. Street paving has been found from the first human settlements around 4000 BC in cities of the Indus Valley Civilization on the Indian subcontinent in modern day Pakistan, such as Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Roads in the towns were straight and long, intersecting one another at right angles. (Wikipedia, 2)


3838 BCE. The Post Track, a prehistoric causeway in the valley of the River Brue in the Somerset Levels, England, is one of the oldest known constructed trackways and dates from around 3838 BCE. (Wikipedia)


3300 BC. Corduroy roads were built in Glastonbury, England in 3300 BC. (Wikipedia)


2600-2200 BC. First known paved road. (Harrell and Bown)


2000 BC  Paved Road, Crete. (Wilford)


600 BC.  Carthaginians first to construct and maintain a road system. (Pavement History, quoting Tillson)


312 BC. The first and most famous great Roman road was the Via Appia (or Appian Way). Constructed from 312 BCE and covering 196 km (132 Roman miles), it linked Rome to Capua in as straight a line as possible and was known to the Romans as the Regina viarum or 'Queen of Roads'. (Cartwright)


207 BCE. The Silk Road was a major trade route between China and India, Europe, and Arabia. It derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk carried out along its length, beginning in the Han dynasty (207 BCE–220 CE). (Wikipedia)


135 BC. The Wittemoor timber trackway is a log causeway or corduroy road across a bog at Neuenhuntdorf, part of the Berne in the district of Wesermarsch in Lower Saxony, Germany. Originating in the pre-Roman Iron Age, it is one of several such causeways which have been found in the North German Plain, particularly in the Weser-Ems region. It has been dated by dendrochronology to 135 BCE. (Wikipedia)


8th century. In the medieval Islamic world, many roads were built throughout the Arab Empire. The most sophisticated roads were those of Baghdad, Iraq, which were paved with tar in the 8th century. Tar was derived from petroleum accessed from oil fields in the region, through the chemical process of destructive distillation. (Wikipedia)


43 AD Roman Conquest of Britain. When the Romans began their conquest of Celtic Britain in 43AD, they found a haphazard collection of roads and paths, most connecting local fields and hamlets, but also some longer distance trade routes (e.g. along the North Downs in Kent, and the Icknield Way along the Chilterns into Norfolk). (Ross)


406 AD. Romans depart Britain. Road design and construction languished for about 1,200 years after. (Pavement History)


1200s. In medieval Europe, before the 1200s, there were no organized networks of streets inside cities, merely shifting footpaths. With the invention of the horse harness and wagons with swivelled front axles that could make tight turns, urban street networks stabilized. Wikipedia)


13th Century. Introduction of the articulating front axel, allowing corners to be turned with relative ease (which explains the purpose of ruts in roads previous to this). (Knapton)


1656. The toll-gate erected at Wadesmill became the first effective toll-gate in England. (Wikipedia)


1765. The first professional road builder to emerge during the Industrial Revolution was John Metcalf, who constructed about 180 miles (290 km) of turnpike road, mainly in the north of England, from 1765 Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet is widely credited with establishing the first scientific approach to road building in France at the same time. He wrote a memorandum on his method in 1775, which became general practice in France. (Wikipedia)


1801. In 1801 after a career mostly designing and building bridges and canals engineer Thomas Telford was commissioned by the government to improve road travel in his native Scotland.


1823. Introduction of Macadam pavement in the US. (Pavement History)


1838. David Stead, UK wood paving patent. (not seen)


1839. Up to 1839, London’s Streets paved almost exclusively with granite. (Manufacturer and Builder) Victorian London. Wood pavements laid in Old Bailey.


1842. First appearance of Lisbon pavements, inspired by Roman Mosaics (Kowsman).

The Improved Wood Pavement Company Limited, UK, established, 1842.


1848. First tarmacadam pavement, Nottingham (Lincoln Road) (Pavement History)


1858. Sheet Asphalt, Paris, France. (PH)


1870. Sheet Asphalt, Newark, New Jersey, US. (PH)


1870s. The Good Roads Movement occurred in the United States between the late 1870s and the 1920s. Advocates for improved roads led by bicyclists such as the League of American Bicyclists turned local agitation into a national political movement. (Wikipedia)


1901. Modern tarmac was patented by British civil engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley, who noticed that spilled tar on the roadway kept the dust down and created a smooth surface. He took out a patent in 1901 for tarmac. (Wikipedia)


1907. Introduction of yellow coloured pavers in Sofia, Belgium. (Sofia Portal)


1915. Woodblock paving in widespread use in UK. (Endgrain)


1948. Introduction of concrete block paving, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Knapton)


1950s. Dutch and Germans learn how to how to mould concrete using dry concrete (wet being the other type of concrete). (Knapton)


1957. Introduction of what has become known as the ‘Cairo tiling’, in Cairo, Egypt, designed by the architect Ramzi Omar.




Mark Cartwright



David Ross




1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_roads_and_trails

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_road_transport

Created 18 April 2019, with part existing material, and part new. Last Updated 30 May 2019