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Tessellations in Islamic Calligraphy Author(s): Mangho Ahuja and A. L. Loeb Source: Leonardo, Vol. 28, No. 1 (1995), pp. 41-45 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 29/03/2011 07:50
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Tessellations in



ManghoAhuja and A. L. Loeb


Many cultures believe that the meaning of writing transcends the temporal level. Although we do not know when or where the earliest system of writing began, all systems of writing "hold one idea in common: writing is divine, inherently holy, with powers to teach the highest mysteries; writing is the speech of the gods, the ideal form of beauty,"according to J. Stevens [1]. The people of the Orient have traditionally regarded writing as a gift from the gods. The written characters inspire divine thoughts and are objects of devotion and worship. Hindus have always believed that their god, Brahma, gave the knowledge of letters to man. To invoke Lord Brahma, the Hindus use the letter "Om" (a Hindu mantra characterizing supreme power) at the beginning of many social and official documents. Muslims follow a similar custom, beginning all written work with the words "BismAllah Al RahmanAl Rahim"(literally, "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate"), thus dedicating the success and the glory of their project to Allah. The growth of religion and the art of writing have been intertwined, because religious scriptures are believed to contain the written word of God. In Asia, the art of calligraphy (literally, "beautiful writing") drew strength from the birth of two religions: Buddhism and Islam. These religions introduced the idea that the word of God had to be written before it could be carried to farawaylands and preached to new converts. The written word was magic; it brought hope, happiness and the power to heal. Both religions fostered the growth and traditions of calligraphy. In India, the preaching of the Buddhist religion started with oral teaching. Buddhist and Hindu monks read and preached from scriptures; however, Indian culture placed greater importance in chanting. This is true even today. The chanting of the mantras wasand still is-the daily ritual of devotees of both Hindu and Buddhist religions. The propagation of Buddhism only shifted its emphasis from oral to written teachings when the religion began to extend beyond the outer limits of India and spread through Tibet, China, Ceylon and Japan. To spread Buddhism, King Ashoka (262-225 B.C.) had inscriptions of religious and moral edicts written on pillars. These pillars were erected throughout his vast empire, from Kabul to Ceylon. Thus, along with Buddhism, the influence of calligraphy spread from India to China and the Far East. Whereas the Hindus loved chanting mantras, the Chinese preferred writing. The earliest characters of the Chinese language were written on bones and shells, and date back to 1500 B.C. Before the Christian era began, the Chinese had a huge bibliography of 677 works of national importance. Every important historical event, thought or idea was recorded in writing. "Perhaps more than any other visual art, calligraphy can best reveal the Chinese mind and represents its aes-

thetic ideal," according to T.C. Lai [2]. Even in this age of ABSTRACT ballpoint pens and computers, commands a folloyal calligraphy The authors a brief provide lowing among the Chinese of the artof calligraphy in history people, wherever they live. For Muslim excultures, highlighting the modern Chinese, calligraphy of words. amplesof tessellations Theunderlying for deis not just penmanship, but an art principles insigninga wordtessellation with traditions as old as the culscribedina hexagon are disture itself. For some it is a serious cussed, anda test for artistic pursuit; for others, a which wordscan be determining means of recreation that provides tessellatedis provided. Theauthorsdemonstrate theirattempts relaxation from the tensions of at tessellating the word'Ali." modern life. Among all the countries of the East, Japan is the most modern and excels in the art of calligraphy.Japan inherited the traditions of calligraphy from China by importing Chinese characters and the Chinese system of writing, called Kanji. Kanji characters represent people, places and ideas. They convey meaning but not sound. Later, the Japanese developed two systems of phonetic writing, Hiragana and Katakana, which are much simpler than the original Chinese system. The Japanese use all three systems together. Children are introduced to Shodo, the art of calligraphy, from a very early age. The Japanese people and culture added fresh zeal to the art of calligraphy and supported its dynamic growth [3]. Nowhere does the art of calligraphy command higher prestige and popularity than among the Japanese. ISLAM AND CALLIGRAPHY In the world of Islam the art of writing has always played a central role. "Among all arts calligraphy can be considered the most typical expression of the Islamic spirit. The Quran itself has stressed several times the importance of writing," according to A. Schimmel [4]. The growth of Islamic calligraphy followed that of Islamic art and architecture. Some facts about the origin of each are very interesting. Within 100 years after Muhammad's death in 632 A.D., the Arabs had conquered many lands and extended their empire from Spain to India. Arab soldiers could not carry bulky pieces of art with them to the new lands. Their art was in their language-their songs, stories and poetry, which occupied no space in the saddle bags. Many of the soldiers were nomads who had lived
Mangho Ahuja (educator), Department of Mathematics, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, U.S.A. A.L. Loeb (design scientist, musician), Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A. Received 21 June 1993.

? 1995 ISAST


Vol. 28, No. 1, pp.


all their life in tents made of goat's hair. decorated with colored marble and As the empire of Islam grew, these sol- breathtaking mosaics of magical landdiers from the desert were now exposed scapes of mountains, valleys, rivers, to the beauty, craftsmanship and art of towns and little houses built on rocky crags. Forbidden by religion to decorate foreign lands. On their victorious marches they saw Greek temples, Ro- mosques with human figures, the Musman villas, Persian palaces and churches lim artists of the time satisfied their crecontaining glittering gold. As masters of ative urge by using calligraphy. They newly conquered lands, they secured the decorated the ceilings, walls, domes and services of artists and craftsmen from minarets with Arabic expressions from countries that had carried on impressive the holy Koran. traditions in art for centuries. These The dominant language among the craftsmen brought to their Arab con- countries of the Middle East is Arabic. querors skills and techniques they had The Arabic alphabet prevails among all learned and mastered in their own countries of the Middle and Near East. lands. Although not all craftsmen con- Many languages of this region-e.g. Perverted to Islam, they were now working sian, Urdu and Sindhi-use the Arabic together under a common rule and alphabet, with some minor changes. Persian is spoken in Iran; Urdu is the offiserved the same masters. They blended their individual arts, and from this syn- cial language of Pakistan and is a major thesis arose Muslim or Islamic art [5]. language of the Indian subcontinent. Very soon, the mosques and the palaces Sindhi is the language of the province of in the cities of the conquered lands be- Sind in Pakistan [7]. The Arabic alphabet is the unifying thread tying the relicame centers of Islamic art. Among all the arts of the Muslim gious and cultural fabric of the different world, Islamic architecture had a regions of the Muslim world, which are humble beginning. The following story spread far and wide. about Muhammad conveys the feelings The study of the Arabic alphabet is esof Arabs towards architecture at that sential to every Muslim child in every time. In the year 626 A.D, when part of the Islamic world. The Arabic alMuhammad was away on an expedition, phabet has 28 consonants and no vowone of his wives, Umm Salama, had built els. It has many letters with dots above a wall of burnt bricks to make an addi- or below the line. Its short vowels are tion to her apartment. When usually omitted. Almost all its consoMuhammad returned, he rebuked her nants are written in three ways, dependby saying, "Oh, Umm Salama! Verily the ing upon whether the consonant comes most unprofitable thing that eateth up at the beginning, middle or end of the the wealth of a believer is building" [6]. word. The Arabic language has a variety This unenthusiastic opinion about archi- of scripts, and sometimes more than one tecture appears to have prevailed among script is found in the same inscription Arabs in the early seventh century. [8]. Of these many scripts, the Kufic The first mosque in Arabia was a script uses square type, whereas the model of simplicity. It was composed of Naski and Thuluth are more rounded. a rectangular enclosure with a roof for Other well-known scripts are Nastaliq (ascendent, or "hanging," script), protection from the elements at one end. Its covered prayer hall contained Maghribi (literally "western") and no altar, no statues, no vessels of gold or Tughra, which is highly ornamental. The silver and no embroidery. The followers Kuficscript, while not illegible, is rather of the Christian faith proudly display difficult to read. However, it is also the statues of Christ in their churches. But script in which many earlier copies of to a Muslim, creating a picture or statue the Koran were written. True believers of God (Allah) would not be proper. Is- memorized the Koran, so to them the illam forbids idol-worship, and only Allah legibility of the script that explained the can create human beings and animals. word of God was hardly a serious probThe severity of these rules relaxed with lem. The Kufic script itself appears in the passage of time, and the barren sim- different styles. The "square Kufic," plicity of the mosque was slowly re- which is usually seen on the tiles around placed by rich splendor. In the years the walls and circular domes, is also dif714-715 A.D., the Great Mosque in Dam- ficult to read. However, this style uses ascus was built within the same tradi- rectangular lines, making it the approtions, but on a grander scale. Indeed, it priate vehicle for transforming the letwas grand enough to make it one of the ters of the alphabet into geometrical obmost beautiful buildings in the world. jects such as pentagons, hexagons and The Great Mosque has minarets and is tessellations.

Tessellations are the finest example of the mathematical heritage of art [9-12]. A tessellation is a covering of a surface by identical tiles without overlaps or gaps. Dutch artist M.C. Escher (18981972) made imaginative use of tessellations in many of his masterpieces [1321]. Much earlier, the Moors in Alhambra (Granada, Spain) and the Muslim architects of the Middle Ages used tessellations to decorate mosques, minarets and mausoleums. Today we can enjoy a rich heritage of intricate patterns of unusual beauty in Islamic calligraphy and architecture [22]. An interesting collection of tessellations and other geometric designs of symmetry is contained in "Crystallographic Patterns," written by Azerbaijani crystallographer Kh.S. Mamedov [23]. In this collection, one finds a unique kind of tessellation-one of the finest examples of balance and symmetry. It is a tessellation generated by repeating the word "Ali"six times. The six words, three in black and three in white, are inscribed in a hexagon (Fig. 1). This design is found in the palace of Shirwanshahs, built around the fifteenth century near Baku in Azerbaijan [24]. The "SixAli" design is also quite puzzling, because it raises many questions for calligraphers, mathematicians and design scientists [25]. To a geometer it poses the following questions: Can one create a similar tessellation using a word other than Ali-say Muhammad, Jesus, Bob or Carol? Can we tessellate Ali (or any other word) in an octagon, or any other regular polygon? Would there be any geometric restrictions on angles and slopes of the line segments of the word?

Fig. 1. "Six Ali" design found in the palace of Shirwanshahs built around the fifteenth century near Baku, Azerbaijan. This is a rare example of a word tessellation inscribed in a hexagon.


Ahuja and Loeb,Tessellations in Islamic Calligraphy


The search for word tessellations ended with a remarkable result. Acting - ~~~~~~~. --I on a from a friend and scholar (W.H. tip ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Siddiqi of the Archaeological Survey of .-IT India in New Delhi), I found the "Six W., . 1W? Ali" design once again. It appears as a medallion in the shape of a hexagon (Fig. 2). There are eight such medallions, one on each side of the gate arch in each of the four walls of Atgah Khan's tomb. This tomb is situated in the of Khwaja Dargah (mausoleum) Nizamuddin Chisti, located about 7 km from Connaught Circus, the center of New Delhi. This Dargahis visited daily by hundreds of pilgrims. It is also the site of an annual festival, during which thousands of poets, musicians and Kawali (song) fans jam the grounds and climb the surrounding walls to listen to the Kawalisand Mushairas (readings of poetry). It is interesting, but not surprising, that the "Six Ali" design found in Baku shows up again in New Delhi. The artists and craftsmen who built monuFig. 2. "SixAli"design in hexagon found on AtgahKhan'stomb (circa1930) in New Delhi, ments in Delhi inherited their skills India. from the masters who came from central Asia, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
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How do these requirements vary if the tessellation is inscribed in an octagon, or any other regular polygon? Interest in these questions led to a search for similar examples of tessellations, in which a word, rather than a design, is repeated. The field was further narrowed by focusing on only those word tessellations that were inscribed in a regular polygon similar to the "SixAli" design. Where would one find a word tessellation in a polygon? Try a place where calligraphy and artistic design abound-India. This country has an abundant number of mosques and temples, forts and palaces decorated with an amazing variety of designs. The Indian languages are rich in culture and heritage, and calligraphers have long used them to decorate historical and religious monuments. One of us (Ahuja) spent a sabbatical traveling through northern and western regions of India searching for similar examples of word tessellations, visiting Delhi, Ajmer, Mount Abu, Ahmedabad, Junagad, Dwarka, Okha, Palitana, Baroda, Bhopal, Dhar, Mandu, the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Aurangabad, Bombay, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri-towns where monuments or museums containing calligraphic artifacts are located. We find three religions-Hinduism, Jainism and Islam-in this portion of the country. As Islam spread to this re-

gion, so did activityin calligraphy.Artists from Uzbekistan, Persia and Turkey found rewarding assignments with Sultanate and Mogul kings in India [26]. The western and northern parts of India, namely Sind, Panjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi, were the first to be exposed to Muslim art, and there was a mutual exchange of ideas and skills between the local artists and those imported from Muslim countries. A blending of imported art and existing Hindu art is apparent in such masterpieces as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Buland Darwaza (in Fatehpur Sikri) and palaces in Mandu. In Junagad fort, we see Hindu art, sometimes borrowed and sometimes stolen, side by side with Muslim art in one and the same structure. Muslim calligraphers were especially fascinated by geometry, as is evident from their writings in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Mandu. Calligraphy is not a revered vocation among Hindus andJains as it is among Muslims. Hindu art found its expression in temple architecture and statues of various gods and goddesses. The famous Jain temples at Mount Abu, the Dilwara temples, are known for their three-dimensional designs on the ceilings and pillars supporting the temple ceiling. In Hindu as well asJain temples, calligraphy is used mainly in writing the names of gods and goddesses, and in ornate writing of the letter "Om."


One still wonders why the word Ali and

the hexagon appear in word tessellations found at two locations thousands of miles apart. Is there perhaps a mathematical relation that only Ali and only the hexagon satisfy?The "SixAli" design follows the same rule as the other tessellations in a hexagon do. If a black Ali is rotated about the center of the hexagon by 60?, it will coincide with a white Ali. To be precise, one may think of the word Ali as a plane region (Fig. 3), whose boundary consists of three dis-

Fig. 3. For a word to tessellate in a hexagon, its boundary within the hexagon must consist of two lines such that one coincides with the other after rotation by 60?.

Ahuja and Loeb,Tessellations in Islamic Calligraphy


tinct parts: (1) the part common with the boundary of the hexagon, (2) the boundary line OABCDEFGH (we will call this the "upper edge" and denote it by "U") and (3) the boundary line OA'B'C'D'E'F'G'H' (the "lower edge," denoted by "L").The lower edge of the black Ali is also the upper edge of the adjoining white Ali, and vice versa. From the rules of geometry, one can deduce that the word will tessellate in a hexagon if (1) its boundary consists of three parts as described above and (2) the upper edge U coincides with the lower edge L when rotated 60? (counter-clockwise). These are the only criteria for tessellating a word in a hexagon. Similarly, to create a tessellation in a regular 2n-gon using 2n identical words, the upper edge U of the word, when rotated by 360/2n = 180/n?, should coincide with the lower edge L. The number of identical words around the center of rotational symmetry must be even if one wants to create a two-color tessellation. Which words or letters of the alphabet can be tessellated in a hexagon? [27] This is a difficult question, because each language has a variety of scripts. Moreover, artistic freedom allows one to bend the lines as one chooses. However, a test for tessellating a word in a hexagon can be formulated using the terms described earlier. If the boundary of the word within the hexagon consists of only two lines (called U and L), such that one coincides with the other when rotated by 60?, then the word will tessellate in a regular hexagon. The words written in the Kufic script of the Arabic language are more or less rectangular-i.e. they consist of straight line segments that can be easily bent to take a desired geometric shape. Figure 4 shows the words Ali and Muhammad written in Arabic. We have seen how the word Ali can be bent to make a tessellation. In the word Muhammad, there is a "hole" in each letter "m." The boundary of the word consists of two circular lines in addition to the upper and lower edge. No matter how the word is written, the upper and lower edges alone cannot create these

holes, so the word Muhammad cannot be tessellated. In our desire to tessellate a word, we may shorten or lengthen the line segments slightly, and we may vary the angles by a reasonable amount. However, if excessive liberties are taken, the word fails to be recognizable. The result may be a beautiful design, but it is not a word tessellation.


Can Ali be tessellated by repeating it eight times in an octagon? Our attempts are shown in Figs 5-7. In each picture, the upper edge U is OABCDEFG and the lower edge L is OA'B'C'D'E'F'G'. The new requirement is that the upper edge U coincide with L after rotation by
360/8 = 45?. This imposes the following Fig. 5. An unsuccessful attempt to tessellate the word "Ali" in an octagon. The word winds into itself.

restrictions. We must have OA = OA', AB = A'B', BC = B'C', . . . and for the angles, OAB = OA'B',ABC = A'B'C',BCD = B'C'D', These restrictions do not .... leave much room to maneuver. Starting from the center 0 of the octagon (see Fig. 5) we draw three lines OP, OQ and OR such that angles POQ and QOR
both measure 45?. We select points A on

OP and A' on OQ such that OA = OA'. The length OA determines the thickness of the word. We draw AB parallel to OA';
this makes OAB = 135?. The direction of

A'B' is decided by the fact that OA'B' =

OAB = 135?. The length of AB is our

Fig. 6. An unsuccessful attempt to tessellate the word "Ali." The word has a fat tail.

choice. In Fig. 5, we choose AB = OA', which makes OABA' a parallelogram. From B we draw BC parallel to A'B',
making ABC = 135?. Again we choose

the length of BC to be equal to A'B', making BCB'A' a parallelogram. Continuing in this manner, we draw B'C' so
that A'B'C' = ABC = 135?, and B'C' = BC.

This places C on line OQ, and C' on line in Ali, we OR. To complete the letter "A"
choose BCD (and hence B'C'D') = 45?,

and CD = C'D' = BC. Now we face a serious problem. No matter how DE and D'E' are drawn, the word winds into itself and becomes illegible. In Fig. 6, we chose not to make blocks of parallelograms each time, as we did in Fig. 5. In other words, the parallel segments AB and OA' will not be equal. We shortened
the length of AB and kept BCD = 45?.

Fig. 7. An unsuccessful attempt to tessellate the word "Ali." At E' the width of the word reduces to zero.

Fig. 4. The words (a) "Ali" and (b) "Muhammad" in Arabic.



This shortened the "neck" of "A"at C. We increased CD so that D now lies on OP and D' on OQ. As we complete the word, we find a very fat tail at the end of the letter "I"of Ali. To remedy this, we reduced length FG (Fig. 7), but this squeezed the width of the word to a mere point at E'.

Our attempts to tessellate Ali in an octagon resulted in failure. This was mainly because, in addition to the condition for tessellation (U must coincide with L after rotation), we desired uniform width. This additional requirement was perhaps too restrictive. In some artistic designs, words vary in


Ahuja and Loeb,Tessellations in Islamic Calligraphy

Fig. 8. The word "Ali" tessellated in an octagon. The word does not have uniform width.

ometry to build the framework for their art [30]. Where did Islamic artists acquire their scientific knowledge? The Islamic world learned geometry from the Greeks [31]. Al Hajjaj translated Euclid's The Elements in the time of Harun alRashid. Other mathematicians of that time translated various treatises on geometry. Some even wrote "how-to" books on geometric designs. W.K. Chorbachi mentions one such book, A Treatise on What the Artisan Needs of Geometric Problems, written by Abu'l-Wafa al-Buzjani, a mathematician living in Baghdad in the tenth century [32,33]. Muslim calligraphers made use of this knowledge to create various geometric figures using words and phrases from the Koran in square Kufic. Tessellations are just one such example of the application of geometry to create beautiful art [34]. A word tessellation is a rarity, because it requires expertise in both geometry and calligraphy. Not every word can be tessellated, and even when tessellated, it may not have uniform width. In the domain of Islamic calligraphy, the "Six Ali" design stands out as a rare and precious gem of art. Acknowledgments
The authors gratefully acknowledge the criticism and valuable suggestions of Wasma'a Chorbachi. In particular, her expertise on tessellations in Islamic art was a major source of help. Support for this research was received from the Office of Grants and Research, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, U.S.A.

11. A. Schimmel, Calligraphy and Islamic Culture (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1984). 12. A. Welch, Calligraphy in the Arts of the Moslem World (Austin, TX: Univ. of Texas, 1979). 13. F. Bool, ed., M. C. Escher (1898-1972) am Rhein: Rheingauer Verlagsgesselschaft, (Eltville 1986).

14. A.L. Loeb, "The Magic of the Pentangle: Dynamic Symmetry from Merlin to Penrose,"J. Computers and Mathematics with Applications 17 (1989) pp. 33-48. 15. A.L. Loeb, Color and Symmetry (New York: Wiley, 1971. Reprinted: Krieger, 1978). 16. A. L. Loeb, Space Structures, Their Harmony and Counterpoint (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1976); Fifth Rev. Ed. in the Design Science Collection Birkhauser, 1991). (Boston/Basel/Berlin: 17. A.L. Loeb, Concepts and Images, Visual Mathematics, the Design Science Collection (Boston/Basel/ Berlin: Birkhauser, 1992). 18. I. Hargittai, ed., Symmetry, Unifying Human Understanding (New York: Pergamon, 1986). 19. I. Hargittai, ed., Fivefold Symmetry (Singapore: World Scientific, 1992). 20. E.R. Ranucci andJ.L. Teeters, Creating EscherType Drawings (Palo Alto, CA: Creative Publications, 1977). 21.J. Britton and D. Seymore, Introduction to Tessellations (Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymore, 1989). 22. J. Bourgoin, Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Design (New York: Dover, 1973). 23. Kh.S. Mamedov, "Crystallographic Patterns," in I. Hargittai, ed., Symmetry (Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon, 1986). 24. See Mamedov [23].

Fig. 9. The word "Ali" tessellated in a circle.

25. The present article was inspired by this design and the resulting dialogue between the two authors, a geometer and a design scientist. 26. J. Fergusson, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1967). 27. For an answer to a similar question: "Which words can be inverted?," see Scott Kim, Inversions NH: Byte Books, 1981). (Peterborough, "The Fascination of Tiling," 28. D. Schattschneider, Leonardo 25, Nos 3/4, 341-348 (1992); and in Michele Emmer, ed., The Visual Mind: Art and Mathematics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993). 29. B. Griinbaum and G.C. Shephard, Patterns (New York: Freeman, 1987). Tilings and

width, and thus are more attractive. But, by and large, uniform width is a very desirable and essential property in Arabic calligraphy; the successful use of it is what makes the "Six Ali" design so unique. What if we deviate just a little from uniform width? This can be seen in Fig. 8. In this figure the word is readable, but the design is not very pretty. Finally, in Fig. 9, we show Ali tessellated in a circle. Both the octagon and the circle in another reare also unsatisfactory spect. Repetitions of octagons or circles can never completely tile a plane, but will always leave gaps (whereas a hexagon will tile a plane [28,29]).


and Notes

1. J. Stevens, Sacred Calligraphy of the East (Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1988) p. 2. 2. T.C. Lai, Chinese Calligraphy (Seattle, WA: Univ. of Washington Press, 1975) p. ix. 3. See Stevens [1] p. xi. 4. A. Schimmel, ligions (Leiden: Islamic Calligraphy: Iconography of ReBrill, 1970).

5. C. Price, The Story of Moslem Art (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1964). 6. J. D. Hoag, Islamic Architecture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1977) p. 13. 7. A. Schimmel, Islam in India and Pakistan: Iconography of Religions (Leiden: Brill, 1982). 8. See Schimmel [4].

30. A.V. Shubnikov and B.A. Koptsik, Symmetry in Science and Art (New York: Plenum, 1972). 31. J.L. Berggren, Episodes in the Mathematics of Medieval Islam (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986). 32. W.K. Chorbachi, "In the Tower of Babel: Beyond Symmetry in Islamic Design," in Hargittai [18]. 33. W.K. Chorbachi and A.L. Loeb, Pentagonal Seal," in Hargittai [19]. "An Islamic

CONCLUSION the history of art, from Throughout Leonardo to Escher, artists have used ge-

9. D. Washburn and D. Crowe, Symmetries of Culture (Seattle, WA: Univ. of Washington Press, 1988). Visions of Symmetries (New 10. S. Schattschneider, York: W.H. Freeman, 1990).

34. M. C. Escher, Escher on Escher: Exploring the Infinite (New York: Abrams, 1989).

Ahuja and Loeb,Tessellations in Islamic Calligraphy