Tessellations | What are they?What are Tessellations ? The word 'tessera' in latin means a small stone cube. They were used to make up 'tessellata' - the mosaic pictures forming floors and tilings in Roman buildings Notice, in the example at right, that the artists used many small square tiles to create one big picture of a bull. Nowadays, the term "tessellation" has expanded to have at least four meanings. Now it has the original meaning, of big pictures made from small square tiles, but it also means tile-sized uniformly shaped pictures or big pictures made from tiles that aren't just square-shaped. Tessellation can also mean simply filling a large surface, without gaps or overlaps, using non-square tiles. In the world of three-dimensional CGI (Computer Graphic Imagery), tessellation refers to the "wire frame" shape created from small interconnected nonidentical polygon shapes-- not just squares.