How to repair the Mistakes in Historical Scandinavian Labyrinths, Part 4

Originally, I didn’t want to suggest any changes to this particular Icelandic labyrinth. But since I have learned more about the Dritvík Labyrinth through the article by Daniel C. Browing, Jr. (Ancient Dan) on his website, I dare to approach it.

I studied the labyrinth and its appearance intensively. In order to better understand how it could have come about, I tried to reconstruct it with my means, especially geometrically precise.

The oldest representation known to us is from 1900. It is particularly noticeable that the beginning and the end of the line are in the middle of the stone setting. The stones themselves then form an uninterrupted line, they are Ariadne’s thread. And not the way in between, as it should be in a “real” labyrinth. The twists and turns form dead ends and inaccessible sections. Whether this was intentional has already been discussed sufficiently in this blog. Mainly by Richard Myers Shelton in his guest post. But also through Ancient Dan.
The center is formed by a small pile of stones that looks like a molehill made of stones. But it could also be seen as the entrance to the underworld for the guardian spirit. And the stone settings as hints for his way on our upper world. Or do we see the whole thing as a monument to the protective spirit and its activity?

The Dritvík Labyrinth about 1900
The Dritvík Labyrinth about 1900

Between 1900 and up to our time, some of the original labyrinth was rebuilt, probably before 1997, when Jeff Saward (Caerdroia 29 from 1998) visited it. Above all, the lower right part has been changed a lot. The two loops with the two dead ends became only one. And the middle took on roughly the shape of a double spiral. So there was only one entrance with a branch. But it was still not a “real” labyrinth.
I still can’t imagine that the labyrinth was so intentional. Because all other known labyrinths from this time, this culture and this region are walkable. Mostly there are walk-through labyrinths that belong to the so-called classical Baltic type. The entry and exit can run separately from one another, but they can also be formed by a single entry with a branch. They usually do not have a pronounced and empty center. It is formed by a more or less distinct double spiral. For me this is a Wunderkreis.

How do we get there now? What changes would have to be made?

The entire upper part can remain unchanged. The number of circuits and the total outer circumference can also remain.

The center part is also partially correct. Only the lower left and lower right parts need to be rebuilt. The stones must be moved so that there are no more dead ends. This can be done towards the center or away from the center. So the double spiral is reduced or enlarged.

The Dritvík Labyrinth nowadays
The Dritvík Labyrinth nowadays

In the first suggestion for the Wunderkreis 1, I go inward on both sides, the center part gets one less circuit. The left lower turning point is then on the 4th line counted from the outside. The right lower turning point is on the 5th line.

The Dritvík Wunderkreis 1
The Dritvík Wunderkreis 1

In the second suggestion, I go to the outside. The middle part gets one more turn, so the double spiral becomes bigger. The left turning point is on the 3rd line, the right on the 5th line.

The Dritvík Wunderkreis 2
The Dritvík Wunderkreis 2

The middle part with the double spiral is thus more emphasized and the outer circuits are arranged like in the Classical labyrinth.

The overall dimensions have remained, as well as the total number of circuits.

With both variants, it makes sense to first turn to the left and follow the outer circuits.

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1 thought on “How to repair the Mistakes in Historical Scandinavian Labyrinths, Part 4

  1. Pingback: How to repair the Mistakes in Historical Scandinavian Labyrinths, Part 5 | blogmymaze

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