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opus reticulatum

type of facing used on ancient Roman concrete or mortared rubblework walls. It appeared during the late Roman Republic and became widespread by the reign of Augustus. It succeeded the earliest type of facing, an irregular patchwork called opus incertum. Reticulated work looks like a diagonal checkerboard with its square stones set lozenge fashion, separated by relatively fine joints. The stones are about 4 inches (10 cm) square and extend into the wall for 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm). The name is derived from the Latin rete, "net," because the wall surface had the appearance of a fishing net.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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