A comprehensive, full-color exploration of tile art and production worldwide, from earliest times to the present day. The book is both an authoritative work of reference and a visual delight, ranging from ancient Greece, where the first fired roof tiles date from as early as the third millennium BC, to twentieth-century Mexico. Along the way we encounter stunning examples of the tiler's art: the enormous English medieval floor pavements from Byland Abbey and Clarendon Palace; figural tiles from China, intended to adorn roofs and ward off evil; the famous Iznik tiles from the Islamic world, with their richly decorative patterns; the highly stylised ceramic tiles of the Arts and Crafts movement; and the tiles created by some of the finest ceramic artists and potters of the twenty-first century. Placing the tiles firmly in their historical and cultural context, the book highlights both continuity and diversity, the dissemination of techniques and designs, and how tile art in one time and place has inspired and rejuvenated those in others. Tiles are also studied in terms of function as well as form, and the full range of architectural and practical purposes for which they have been used - from floors to roofs, stoves to bathrooms, cathedrals to metro stations - will be explored, along with the various techniques employed to create such versatile pieces. 5000 Years of Tiles is the essential, most comprehensive single volume for anyone interested in the ceramic, decorative, and architectural arts.