The Start of Ornamentation All over the World and at All Times

  • Jürgen Weber


On all five continents ornamentation on household objects, but frequently also on depictions of figures or animals, starts with the literal use of orbit-like geometry, or, to use a more general expression, with the same geometrical figures we see in children’s drawing after the scribbling stage. All over the world ornamentation starts by reproducing the geometrical perceptual images which are then altered more or less quickly by observation of nature or by variously dynamizing the geometrical forms. In some places, for instance in Greece, this happened in the course of a few centuries, while in other countries, for instance in Australia, it has stayed the same, from the drawings on rocks made some tens of thousands of years ago, to today. Let me draw your attention to the parallels ornamenting the seated man in an Australian rock drawing, 10000 BC, (179) and a corresponding painting on bark (180) from recent times, and to the contemporary parallel hatchings on the bark painting with the inset crocodiles (181) similar on Taiwan (184); everywhere the same use of parallels for ornamentation.


Tree Trunk Zigzag Line Chessboard Pattern Cultural Import Jomon Period 
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  1. 34.
    Manfred Korfmann „Troia als Drehscheibe des Handels im 2. und 3. vorchristlichen Jahrtausend“, in „Traum und Wirklichkeit in Troia“. 2001Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Elementares FormenTU BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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