The diamond-shaped tufa blocks are placed with the pointed ends into the cement core at roughly 1/4, so the square bases form a diagonal pattern, and the pattern of mortar lines resembles a net. Reticulatum is the Latin term for net, and opus, the term for a work of art, thus the term literally translates to "net work."
This construction technique was used from the beginning of the first century BCE was very common until opus latericium, a different form of brickwork, became more common.
Opus reticulatum was used by Alberti in the Rucellai Palace.
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