How to make a 7 Circuit Labyrinth from one Meander

We already had this topic. Only, the operative word is: from one meander.  Since the well-known 7 circuit classical labyrinth is composed of two meanders.

The particularly suited meander for this in schematic view looks as follows:

Meander with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

Meander with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

The deciphered meander delivers the path sequence for a labyrinth with its line sequence.

The labyrinth developed from it, in a round shape and a larger middle looks as follows:

A 7 circuit meander labyrinth

A 7 circuit meander labyrinth

The walls are shown in black, the seed pattern contained in the lines is highlighted in colour.

It is a 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8. It is also remarkable that the walls do not cross. It has only two turning points and quite another alignment than the well-known classical labyrinth with four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8.
This can be constructed, as everybody knows, from the seed pattern, but also from two joined together meanders of the simple type.
There are different methods or technologies to develop a labyrinth. I would like to call the procedure applied here the meander method.

This begs the question if there is a historical model. To my knowledge there has not been this type yet. (Objections welcome).

But where do we find such a meander? Unfortunately, in the antique collection of the Martin von Wagner Museum of the University of Würzburg I did not (as) yet find one.
In Hermann Kern’s book “Labyrinths” is the image of a Kylix from the British Museum of London (E 84), it shows the dead Minotaur dragged out of the labyrinth by Theseus .

Red-figured Attic kylix from 440-430 BC

Red-figured Attic kylix from 440-430 BC / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinthe, 1982, pict. 3, German edition

Hermann Kern describes the edge as a ribbon with angular shaped, contra-rotating connected spirals. The gate shows overlapping meanders.

The archeologists regard the angular shaped, open, interdependent spirals  either as preliminary stages of the meander or even as meanders. Since they also speak of hook meanders or broken meanders (Source: R.M. Cook, Clazomenian Sarcophagi, published by von Zabern in 1981).

However, I also can develop a labyrinth from this spiral. Since the line sequence is identical with the one in the meander. If I take the white line, I also have a meander.

Spiral with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

Spiral with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

In the spiral I can very well reproduce the change of directions. I turn inwards on the lines 0-7-2-5-4, then I jump to line 3 and go on the lines 3-6-1-8 outwardly. In the labyrinth this is the movement from the outside into the center around the two turning points, so I have the same sequence of movements.

Back to the Attic kylix: On the edge are 9 checkered patterns with 5 squares  and in between are in one  field 4 double spirals and in eight fields three double spirals. All together we find 28 double spirals. In the vertical frieze on the kylix are two checkered patterns with 9 squares and three meander crosses.

Are these only ornaments and decorations? Or do they mean more? This can be subject of speculation. For me these ornaments contain enough allusions on the labyrinth and even the patterns of “real” labyrinths.

According to Hermann Kern the meander could be a token for the labyrinth from the 5th century BC on. Others speak of a sign or an ideogram for the labyrinth (Source: Eva Wilson, British Museum Pattern Books: Roman Designs, published in 1999, page 12).

Related Posts

2 thoughts on “How to make a 7 Circuit Labyrinth from one Meander

  1. Pingback: How to find the true Meander for a Labyrinth « blogmymaze

  2. Three… Five… and now seven… this just continues to fascinate me Erwin! And has taken me to deeper levels within the labyrinth… thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.