Bluestone symbols (Guest spot)

Melbourne footpath enthusiast Dimitrios Kianidis took the photographs for today’s post

I have found another person who likes to keep his camera pointing downwards – or at least, he has found me through the Pavement graffiti website. When Dimitrios Kianidis posted a comment on this site in 2011 he had already self-published a book called Footpath graffiti: Coburg & Brunswick. It contains nearly 400 photographs, mostly inscriptions in wet concrete. Leafing through them is like reading a funny little book of very short poems. Dimitrios wanted to capture the social commentary scratched in concrete. “Most are so-and-so loves so-and-so,” he tells me, “But there are other messages and drawings as well. My favourites are:  ‘The Aborigines own this land’, ‘Santo and the Corinthians’, ‘I love Harrison Ford’, ‘RIP Blair 2006’, ‘RIP Cliff’, and ‘Dan is average!’  to mention just a few.” There are only a few copies of his book, but one of them is in Brunswick Library if you’re interested in seeing it.

But Dimitrios’s latest discovery is, as he puts it, ‘a whole language of numbers, letters and symbols carved into bluestone pavers’. The purpose of these inscriptions remains a mystery, although Dimitrios suspects they indicate the location of underground utility pipes and junctions. Any suggestions from knowledgeable blog followers would be welcome.

The ‘EA’ is particularly striking. “It is my favourite because it’s unlike any other that I have found. It’s beautifully carved and takes up the width of the paver and is visible from a short distance even to the casual observer. It’s in Albert Street on the pavement beside my favourite church too, St Patrick’s Cathedral.”


  1. Kass 8 December 2017

    Hey found one of these arrows carved into a bluestone in a very rarely used alley in Coburg. Was trying to find out kore about them and found this page. Keep up th good work and I’ll keep searching alleys for cool shit!

  2. megan 22 December 2017

    Thanks, Kass. Enjoy your search of the alleys and back lanes. I certainly do.

  3. J 19 December 2023

    Most are government survey marks. 1 in 10,000 are convict personal mark. I Thought they were all convict marks when o first started noticing them in yr10, they arr everywhere. I’ve got albums of them. Been lucky enough to locate a few convict ones as well

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