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I have already seen many pictures of finger labyrinths on the internet. Mostly they are made of wood or ceramics. They show the way in the labyrinth, Ariadne’s thread.
I do not like many of them. Especially the last part of the way, the entrance to the center, is often not so satisfactory. This is not very clear in some finger labyrinths; the path often runs from the side rather than from the bottom and perpendicular to the center.

That’s why I would like to present some own ideas on that.
In the classical 7 circuit labyrinth, the center is usually only as wide as the path itself and therefore less accentuated. That’s why I prefer to choose a slightly larger center, as we have it in the Knidos style. But not four times the axle width, but only the double.

That’s how it looks:

Ariadne's thread in Knidos style

Ariadne’s thread in Knidos style

The turning points are slightly shifted, the center is slightly enlarged. As a result, the last piece of the path runs perpendicular to the center.


In addition, the classical 7 circuit labyrinth can be centered very well. Since the first and the last part of the path are on the 3rd and 5th ambulatory.

That’s how it looks:

Ariadne's thread centered for a finger labyrinth

Ariadne’s thread centered for a finger labyrinth

The four turning points are shifted a bit more.
The empty space in the interior also is a bit more distorted.


Below is a kind of preview drawing for a round labyrinth of 33 cm diameter with all construction elements.

However, the dimensions are very well scalable. That is, for a smaller labyrinth, I use a corresponding scaling factor, which multiplies all measures.

For example, if I want it to be half the size, I multiply all measurements by 0.5.

If I want to reach a certain size, I determine the required scaling factor by dividing this size by 33 cm.

For a desired diameter of 21 cm, e.g. I calculate the scaling factor as follows: 21 cm : 33 cm = 0.636. I then multiply all the measurements with 0.636.

To convert the cm to inches, I divide by 2.54: The diameter becomes 33 : 2.54 = 13 inches.

Note for my inch-using visitors: Simply replace the measure unit “cm” by “inch” in the drawing and then calculate the desired size of your labyrinth as described above.

Design drawing

Design drawing

Here you might see, print or download it as a PDF file

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The labyrinth on folio 51 r is Gossembrot’s most important one. It is the earliest preserved example of a five-arm labyrinth at all. It’s course of the pathway using double barriers in all side-arms is unprecedented (see: related posts 1, below). However, it is not self-dual. Therefore, it can be expected that there exist three relatives of it (related posts 4).

I term as relatives of an (original) labyrinth the dual, complementary, and dual-complementary labyrinths of it (related posts 2 and 3). In fig. 1 the patterns of the Gossembrot 51 r-type labyrinth (a, original), the dual (b), the complementary (c), and the dual-complementary (d) of it are presented.

Figure 1. Patterns of the Relatives of Type Gossembrot 51 r

Figure 2 shows the labyrinths corresponding to the patterns in their basic form with the walls delimiting the pathway on concentric layout and in clockwise rotation.

Figure 2. The Relatives of Type Gossembrot 51 r in the Basic Form

These four related labyrinths all look quite similar. To me it seems, the dual (b) and the complementary (c) look somewhat less balanced than the original (a) and the dual-complementary (d). Presently, I am not aware of any existing examples of a relative to the Gossembrot 51 r-type labyrinth.

Related Posts:

  1. Sigmund Gossembrot / 2
  2. The Relatives of the Wayland’s House Type Labyrinth
  3. The Relatives of the Ravenna Type Labyrinth
  4. The Complementary versus the Dual Labyrinth

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It seemed obvious to apply the principles for two-parted 5 circuit labyrinths in the previous posts also for 7 circuit labyrinths.

For this purpose, the double barrier is extended to 6 passages, thus creating a triple barrier.

This is what it looks like:

A two-parted 7 circuit concentric labyrinth (entrance 3rd track)

A two-parted 7 circuit concentric labyrinth (entrance 3rd track)

It is noteworthy that both the entry into the labyrinth as well as the entry into the center is possible in and from the same circuit, here from the third circuit.
The path sequence is: 3-6-5-4-7-2-1-2-7-4-5-6-3-8

But it is also possible to design that from the 5th circuit. This creates a new type again.
Here is the example:

A two-parted 7 circuit concentric labyrinth (entrance 5th track)

A two-parted 7 circuit concentric labyrinth (entrance 5th track)

The path sequence is then: 5-4-3-6-7-2-1-2-7-6-3-4-5-8


And here are the two variants in Knidos style:

A two-parted 7 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style (entrance 3rd track)

A two-parted 7 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style (entrance 3rd track)

 

And here from the 5th circuit:

A two-parted 7 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style (entrance 5th track)

A two-parted 7 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style (entrance 5th track)

Now you could move the barrier and its related elements upwards. Then it would not be the first circuit who is completely gone through, but the innermost, the 7th circuit.

So the whole structure (pattern), expressed in the path sequence, would be changed. That would also create a new type of labyrinth again.

Here in a simplified representation:

A two-parted concentric 7 circuit labyrinth (entrance 3rd track)

A two-parted concentric 7 circuit labyrinth (entrance 3rd track)

Here with entrance in the 5th circuit:

A two-parted concentric 7 circuit labyrinth (entrance 5th track)

A two-parted concentric 7 circuit labyrinth (entrance 5th track)

But someone else had this idea. On the Harmony Labyrinths website, Yvonne R. Jacobs has introduced hundreds of new labyrinth designs and copyrighted them.

She calls these types Luna V (Desert Moon Labyrinth) and Luna VI (Summer Moon Labyrinth). On her website you can look at the corresponding drawings and even order finger labyrinths (only in the USA).

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Further Link

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Summary

At the end I want to summarize some findings of the previous six posts on Gossembrot. In my opinion, two main aspects seem important.

New types of labyrinths

Gossembrot has created two labyrinths with unique courses of the pathway, and thus designed two new types of labyrinths. The five-arm labyrinth on fol. 51 r is an outstanding type of labyrinth. The one-arm labyrinth with nine circuits on fol. 53 r is one of the rarer non-alternating types of labyrinths. Furthermore, a third new type of a four-arm labyrinth is hidden in the drawing on fol. 53 v.

Gossembrot could also have been first in drawing the Schedel type labyrinth (fol. 51 v) or the scaled-up basic type (fol. 54 v). It is true, that the manuscript containing the Schedel type is dated somewhat earlier than the one by Gossembrot. However, the drawing in Schedel manuscript could also have been added later. The two earliest examples of the scaled-up basic type are dated from the 15 th century without further precision. Thus, they could also have been generated later than 1480. However, I think this is unlikely. Both examples (Hesselager and Sibbo) were desinged in the classical style – which is the style that best matches with the natural way of designing this type of labyrinth.

Approaches to mazes

Gossembrot was strongly involved with the difference between labyrinth and maze. This is well attested by the mazes he had derived from the labyrinths of the Schedel type (fol. 52 r and fol. 52 above) and, following an other approach, from the Chartres type (fol. 54 r). And also by the fact that Gossembrot took this complex labyrinth for his best labyrinth.

I think also that his rejected design on fol. 53 v is not a mistaken attempt to the five-arm labyrinth on fol. 51 r. But instead, it seems to me that this is a failed attempt to derive a maze from the five-arm labyrinth. This is particularly supported by the design of the main axis. This was amended in a similar way as the ones of the mazes (fol. 52 r and fol. 52 v above) Gossembrot had derived from the Schedel type labyrinth.

It was not until the 15 th century that the creation of mazes began. The first drawing of a maze by Giovanni Fontana dates from year 1420 (see literature below: p. 138, fig. 239). Gossembrot was one of the first to draw mazes. His mazes, however, are, even compared with some other ones by Fontana (literature, p. 238, fig. 240), still rudementary and are fully based on unicursal labyrinths.

Conclusion

Gossembrot undoubtedly has his great importance in the design of unicursal labyrinths. Even if he must have been very fascinated by the maze, such that he himself took a maze for his best labyrinth, his drawings still represent tentative approaches and attempts to mazes. Contrastingly, he has created awesome original designs with fundamental innovations in unicursal labyrinths.

Literature
Kern H. Through the Labyrinth – Designs and Meanings over 5,000 Years. Munich, London, New York: Prestel 2000.

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In dealing with the double-barrier technique in recent posts, I found this installation of Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinths on the London Underground:

The labyrinth 233/270 at the station Hyde Park Corner, Photo: credit © Jack Gordon

The labyrinth 233/270 at the station Hyde Park Corner, Photo: credit © Jack Gordon

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The special feature of this is that two double barriers are located next to each other in the upper part of the central axis. In the routing chosen by him you move at the transition from the 2nd to the 3rd quadrant first away from the center.

I’ve changed that so much that you would “experience” a movement to the center in a walkable labyrinth.

This is what it looks like:

A new labyrinth in concentric style

A new labyrinth in concentric style

I have also moved the side double barriers and this makes the routing in all quadrants also different. So a new type of labyrinth is born.

Here in Knidos style:

A new centered sector labyrinth in Knidos style

A new centered sector labyrinth in Knidos style

Why not as a two-parted labyrinth?

A new two-parted 5 circuit labyrinth

A new two-parted 5 circuit labyrinth

The left part has the path sequence: 3-4-5-2-1 and the right part: 5-4-1-2-3, so there are two 5 circuit labyrinths in it.

And here again in Knidos style:

A new two-parted and centered 5 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style

A new two-parted and centered 5 circuit labyrinth in Knidos style

The remarkable thing about this type is that both the entry into the labyrinth in the 3rd lane takes place, as well as the entry into the center.

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The Complex Labyrinth

On folio 54 r, finally, is depicted the complex labyrinth shown in figure 1 (see also: related posts, below). In it’s center is written: „laborintus melior inter priores aquia magis errabunda inducens et educens“ – this labyrinth is better than the previous ones, as it is more misleading, leading in and out. This labyrinth has 12 circuits and its’ turns of the pathway are arranged in a confusing order. The number of arms cannot be easily counted.

Figure 1. The Complex Labyrinth on Folio 54 r

The pathway enters the labyrinth from below on the first (outermost) circuit (fig. 2). There it first bifurcates, and one can follow it in both rotational directions (clockwise or anticlockwise). On top of this circuit deviates another piece of the pathway. This then leads further into the labyrinth. Thus, the outermost circuit is designed not unicursally but multicursally as a maze.

Figure 2. The Outermost Circuit

The outermost circuit can be removed (fig. 3). This brings us to an autonomous core-labyrinth with 11 circuits. Additional circuits, however, cannot be simply removed without destroying the core-labyrinth. The core-labyrinth has clearly recognizable a main axis that is oriented to the top and it rotates clockwise.

Figure 3. Core Labyrinth

For a further investigation (in fig. 4) we now rotate the labyrinth, such that the main axis points to the bottom. By this, the labyrinth presents itself in the form we always use as a baseline. The main axis (in a blue frame) has exactly the same shape as the one of the Chartres type labyrinth. The other turns of the pathway are arbitrarily distributed over about the upper 2/3 of the area.

Figure 4. Main Axis

However, in view of the shape of the main axis the idea suggests itself, that also the remaining turns of the pathway could have something to do with the Chartres type. Indeed, three areas can be easily identified (fig. 5). The turns of the pathway inside these trapezoidal areas (red) can be aligned axially.

Figure 5. Side Arms

For this purpose, they need to be shifted along their circuits. Two turns of the path (the innermost of the 1st and 2nd side-arm are almost already in their right place. This is shown in fig. 6. The other ones need to be shifted further. This is illustrated with the red circles and arrows. In their new alignment they indeed result in a Chartres type labyrinth.

Figure 6. Type Chartres

Considered the other way round, we can state, that Gossembrot has derived a multicursal maze from the Chartres type labyrinth. For this, he has dispersed the regular order by shifting the turns of the pathway away from the side-arms and arbitrarily distributing them over the area of the labyrinth. Then he has attached a further circuit at the outside and on this circuit has introduced a multicursal course of the pathway.

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There are eight possibilities for a one arm 5 circuit labyrinth (see Related Posts below).

The structure of the different labyrinths can be expressed through the path sequence. Here is a list:

  1.  3-2-1-4-5
  2.  5-4-1-2-3
  3.  5-2-3-4-1
  4.  1-4-3-2-5
  5.  3-4-5-2-1
  6.  1-2-5-4-3
  7.  1-2-3-4-5
  8.  5-4-3-2-1

The sector labyrinth presented in my last post (see Related Posts below) has a different path sequence in all 4 quadrants. In other words, there are 4 different labyrinths hidden in it. These were the path sequences in the 1st to the 4th line of the list above.


Today another 5 circuit sector labyrinth modeled with Gossembrot’s double barrier technique:

A new 5 circuit sector labyrinth in concentric style

A new 5 circuit sector labyrinth in concentric style

The path sequence in quadrant I is: 3-4-5-2-1, in quadrant IV: 1-2-5-4-3. These are the aforementioned courses at the 5th and 6th place. The two upper quadrants have: 1-4-3-2-5 and 5-2-3-4-1. These correspond to the upper pathways at the 4th and 3rd places. Not surprising, because the transition in these sector labyrinths takes place either on the 1st or the 5th course.

Here in a representation that we know from the Roman labyrinths:

The new sector labyrinth in square shape

The new sector labyrinth in square shape

Or here in Knidos style:

The new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

The new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

On Wikimedia Commons I found this picture of Mark Wallinger’s unique Labyrinth installation at Northwood Hills station, installed as part of a network-wide art project marking 150 years of the London Underground. It is part of the emboss family (one of the 11 labyrinth design families).

Mark Wallinger Labyrinth 10/270, Photo: credit © Jack Gordon

Mark Wallinger Labyrinth 10/270, Photo: credit © Jack Gordon

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


Now only two path sequences are missing, then we would have the eight complete.
There is also a new sector labyrinth for this:

Another new sector labyrinth in concentric style

Another new sector labyrinth in concentric style

In the two lower quadrants we have the courses 1-2-3-4-5 and 5-4-3-2-1. These are the above mentioned pathway sequences at the the 7th and 8th places. The upper two sequences (5-2-3-4-1 and 1-4-3-2-5) are again identical to the aforementioned two labyrinths and the one in the previous post.

The quadratic representation shows that it is actually a mixture of serpentine type and meander type (see Related Posts below).

The new sector labyrinth in Roman Style

The new sector labyrinth in Roman Style

Here in Knidos style:

The new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

The new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

Simply put, in only three sector labyrinths can all theoretically possible eight 5 circuit labyrinths be proved.


But it is also possible to move the “upper” pathways down, so that again arise new display options.
Then you can swap the right and left “lower” quadrants.
Or mirror everything and create right-handed labyrinths.

Here are two examples:

Even one more new sector labyrinth in round shape

Even one more new sector labyrinth in round shape

Another new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

Another new sector labyrinth in Knidos style

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