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Find our Typology Confirmed

In chapter 3 of his book, Herman Wind (see below: Literature 1) aims at introducing a new categorization of labyrinths. For this purpose he has used images of labyrinths primarily from Kern (Literature 2) and also from some other sources. Wind has abstracted the sequences of circuits from the ground plans of the individual labyrinths. In the labyrinth library, table 3.2.1 A-F on pages 73-78 of his book, entries of 235 labyrinths can be found. Each line represents one labyrinth with a reference to figure, location, date when recorded and sequence of circuits. Labyrinths with the same sequences of circuits were arranged subsequently. By this, Wind has attributed similar labyrinths to the same groups, divergent labyrinths to different groups and thus created a typology. However, he does not term his groups „types“ but „families“ instead. These families have not been given different names and are also not always clearly distinguished one from another. Therefore in the labyrinth library, the reader himself must draw parentheses around the lines with the same sequences of numbers in order to identify the families.

In the book, five examples of the use of the labyrinth library are presented. Let us have a look at the first example (p. 81). This shows examples of labyrinths that were attributed to the same family as the labyrinth of Ravenna.

Figure 1. Labyrinths Attributed to the Same Family as Ravenna

Examples A „Filarete“, C „Ravenna“, and F l(eft) „Watts 7 circuits“ all have the same sequence of circuits. Example B „Hill“ was equally attributed to this family, even though it is completely different. It can be seen at first sight, that this labyrinth does not belong to this family. This is a faulty drawing of a labyrinth of the Saffron Walden type. It seems, there has been some mistake in the attribution of the labyrinth in the labyrinth library. Interestingly, neither the author nor the editor have noticed this. Although they have noticed the difference in the much more resembling example F r(ight) „Watts 11 circuits“, but only stated a certain similarity with the family of Ravenna. This is just what can be seen in a direct comparison of both images F l and F r.

The way Wind uses the sequence of circuits causes two problems:

First: This sequence of circuits is unique only in alternating one-arm labyrinths. If we consider also non-alternating labyrinths, examples with different courses of the pathway may have the same sequence of circuits (fig. 2).

Figure 2. Labyrinths with the Sequence of Circuits 7 4 5 6 1 2 3 0

So, Wind attributes the two non-alternating labyrinths (a) St. Gallen and (b) Syrian Grammar to the same family. This is correct. Should he find an alternating labyrinth of the shape (c), however, he would have to attribute this to the same family, although it has a clearly different course of the pathway. This because it’s sequence of circuits is 7 4 5 6 1 2 3 0, just the same as in examples (a) and (b). (For other examples with ambiguous sequences of circuits see related posts 1, 2).

Second: Wind’s sequences of circuits for the labyrinths with multiple arms are incomplete. They only indicate which circuits are covered at all but provide no information on how long the respective pieces of the pathway are. Such sequences of circuits are not even unique in alternating labyrinths. As Jacques Hébert explains, the sequence of circuits in labyrinths with multiple arms must take into account the division into segments and the resulting variation in length of path segments (Literature 3). This can be done in different ways.

Figure 3. Sequences of Circuits of the Wayland’s House Labyrinth

Figure 3 shows one of the possibilities using a pure sequence of numbers with the example of the Wayland’s House 1 labyrinth. The sequence of circuits of this labyrinth according to Wind (lower row W:) has 21 numbers. If we consider also the length of the path segments following Hébert (upper row H:) the sequence has 30 numbers. From Wind’s sequence of circuits the labyrinth cannot be restored without an image of it or only after multiple attempts. From Hébert’s sequence of circuits it can be restored without difficulty.

That there may exist alternating labyrinths with different courses of the pathway for the same incomplete sequence of circuits is shown in fig. 4.

Figure 4. Labyrinths with Different Courses of the Path and the Same Incomplete Sequence of Circuits

The two labyrinths shown have different courses of the pathway. This is represented in the complete sequence of circuits (upper lines). In the incomplete sequence of circuits (lower lines), however, the difference has disappeared. It is the same for both labyrinths.

Conclusion

The categorization by Wind is not new. We have done this already (Literature 4). We have used about the same material, have attributed similar labyrinths to the same groups and divergent labyrinths to different groups and refer to this as a typology (related posts 3, 4, 5). We also obtain more or less the same results (further links). Thus, the categorization by Wind confirms our typology to a great extent. As the criterion for similar or divergent, we use the course of the pathway. However, we don’t describe this with the sequence of circuits but with the pattern. This allows us a unique and complete representation of the course of the pathway and an unambigous attribution of the labyrinth examples to types of labyrinths.

Literature

  1. Listening to the Labyrinths, by Herman G. Wind, editor Jeff Saward. F&N Eigen Beheer, Castricum, Netherlands, 2017.
  2. Kern H. Through the Labyrinth: Designs and Meanings over 5000 years. London: Prestel 2000.
  3. Hébert J. A Mathematical Notation for Medieval Labyrinths. Caerdroia 34 (2004), p. 37-43.
  4. Frei A. A Catalogue of Historical Labyrinth Patterns. Caerdroia 39 (2009), P. 37-47.

Related Posts

  1. Circuits and Segments
  2. The Level Sequence in One-arm Labyrinths
  3. Type or Style / 6
  4. Type or Style / 5
  5. Type or Style / 1

Further Links

Katalog der Muster historischer Labyrinthe

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Type and Style

In my post Type or Style / 4 from August 2015, I have discussed the typology of the website Begehbare Labyrinthe (related posts 4). In the meantime, this typology has been completely revised (additional links). The new typology adopts our principles relating to type (related posts 3) and style (related posts 2). Furthermore it combines type and style. All walkable labyrinths were now attributed to types according to their course of the pathway. Labyrinths with the same course of the pathway (pattern, sequence of circuit) are of the same type. These types were then further divided into groups according to the style. Also the naming of the types has been reworked.

This whole thing can be well explained using the basic type. „Basic type“ is the new name of the type that formerly or elsewhere has been termed „classical“ or „Cretan“ type of labyrinth. This type has one axis, seven circuits and the pattern shown in fig. 1.

Figure 1. Pattern Basic Type

Figure 1 shows the pattern in pure form on left, and on right with an aid how to read it. It is read from top left to bottom right (related posts 5). To this corresponds the course of the path in it’s sequence of circuits 3 2 1 4 7 6 5 (related posts 1). By this, the type is accurately described. It is the most frequent type of labyrinth worldwide. And also in the typology of Begehbare Labyrinthe it is by far the most frequent type. Means that of the currently included 305 walkable labyrinths, 133 are of the basic type. These are designed in various styles:

  • „triangle“ (1 example)
  • „rectangle“ (1 example)
  • „classic“ (97 examples)
  • „Knidos“ (15 examples)
  • „concentric“ (15 examples)
  • „Man-in-the-Maze“ (1 example)
  • „other“ (3 examples).

Each type of a labyrinth in each of its styles is depicted with a figure of one corresponding labyrinth example. Figure 2 shows as an example the section representing the basic type in the classical style with its 97 examples.

Figure 2. Section Basic Type in Classical Style

If you move the cursor over the image of the labyrinth, the pattern is overlaid. At the side of the image all attributed walkable labyrinths are listed. Moving the cursor over a name makes an image of the corresponding labyrinth fade in. A click into a link brings you to the page with the full entry of the corresponding labyrinth. This often includes a comprehensive image of the whole labyrinth, and an extensive description of it including type, style, number of circuits, number of axes, size and measurements, materials and other information.

At present, the typology includes about 60 different types and some 10 styles. However, not every type is represented in each style. Despite this, the typology at the moment contains 92 groups composed of types and styles, what is more than the 60 pure types, that are based exclusively on the course of the pathway. These groups cover all walkable labyrinths listed in the website. However, from time to time, new labyrinth examples are added and therefore also the number of types and styles may increase further.

The full list of the types of labyrinths is ordered in increasing order first by the number of axes, then by the number of circuits. So, first all one-arm types of labyrinths are listed, and these in ascending order by the number of circuits from the smallest with 3 circuits to the largest with 11 circuits. Next follow the types with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 und 8 arms, each again in ascending order by the number of circuits.

This new typology is now systematic, consistent, clearly reproducable, and completely covers the listed walkable labrinths. Furthermore it can be easily extended if labyrinth examples in new types or styles are added to the list.

Related Posts:

  1. The Level Sequence in One-arm Labyrinths
  2. Type or Style / 7
  3. Type or Style / 6
  4. Type or Style / 4
  5. How to Read the Pattern

Additional Links:

  1. Typology Begehbare Labyrinthe

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Wishing all visitors of this Blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

An 11 circuit Christmas tree labyrinth

An 11 circuit Christmas tree labyrinth

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In my last posts I had shown the method of transforming the Medieval labyrinth by leaving out the barriers.

The first possibility to generate a labyrinth is of course the use of the seed pattern. Thus most of the Scandinavian Troy Towns with 7, 11, or 15 circuits were created.

Some years ago I wrote about the meander technique. Thereby many new, up to now unknown labyrinths have already originated.

Andreas still has demonstrated another possibility in his posts to the dual and complementary labyrinths. New versions of already known types therein can be generated by rotating and mirroring.

Now I want to use this technology to introduce some new variations.

I refer to simple, alternating transit mazes (labyrinths). Tony Phillips as a Mathematician uses this designation to explore the labyrinth. He also states the number of the theoretically possible variations of 11 circuit interesting labyrinths: 1014 examples.

The theoretically possible interesting variations of the 3 up to 7 circuit labyrinths once already appeared in this blog.

I construct the examples shown here in the concentric style. One can relatively simply effect this on the basis of the path sequence (= circuit sequence or level sequence). There is no pattern necessary.  The path sequence is also the distinguishing mark of the different variations.

I begin with the well known 11circuit classical labyrinth which can be generated from the seed pattern:

The 11 circuit labyrinth from the seed pattern

The 11 circuit labyrinth from the seed pattern

To create the dual version of it, I number the different circuits from the inside to the outside, then I walk from the inside to the outside and write down the number of the circuits in the order in which I walk one after the other. This is the new path sequence. The result is: 5-2-3-4-1-6-11-8-9-10-7- (12).
In this case it is identical to the original, so there no new labyrinth arises. Therefore, this labyrinth is self-dual. This in turn testifies to a special quality of this type.

Now I generate the complementary version. For that to happen I complement the single digits of the path sequence to the digit of the centre, here “12”.
5-2-3-4-1-6-11-8-9-10-7
7-10-9-8-11-6-1-4-3-2-5
If I add the single values of the row on top to the values of the row below, I will get “12” for every addition.

Or, I read the path sequence in reverse order. This amounts to the same new path sequence. But this is only possible with self-dual labyrinths.

I now draw a labyrinth to this path sequence 7-10-9-8-11-6-1-4-3-2-5-12.
Thus it looks:

The complementary 11 circuit labyrinth from the seed pattern

The complementary 11 circuit labyrinth from the seed pattern

This new labyrinth is hardly known up to now.


Now I take another labyrinth already shown in the blog which was generated with meander technique, however, a not self-dual one.

The original 11 circuit labyrinth from meander technique

The original 11 circuit labyrinth from meander technique

First, I determine the path sequence for the dual labyrinth by going inside out. And will get: 7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-11-10-9- (12).

Then I construct the dual labyrinth after this path sequence.
This is how it looks like:

The dual 11 circuit labyrinth

The dual 11 circuit labyrinth

Now I can generate the complementary specimens for each of the two aforementioned labyrinths.

Upper row the original. Bottom row the complementary one.
3-2-1-4-11-6-9-8-7-10-5
9-10-11-8-1-6-3-4-5-2-7
The bottom row is created by adding the upper row to “12”.

The complementary labyrinth looks like this:

The complementary labyrinth of the original

The complementary labyrinth of the original

Now the path sequence of the dual in the upper row. The complementary in the lower one.
7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-11-10-9
5-10-7-8-9-6-11-4-1-2-3
Again calculated by addition to “12”.

This looks thus:

The complementary labyrinth of the dual

The complementary labyrinth of the dual

I have gained three new labyrinths to the already known one. For a self-dual labyrinth I will only receive one new.

Now I can continue playing the game. For the newly created complementary labyrinths I could generate dual labyrinths by numbering from the inside to the outside.

The dual of the complementary to the original results in the complementary of the dual labyrinth. And the dual of the complementary to the dual one results in the complementary one of the original.

The path sequences written side by side makes it clear. In the upper row the original is on the left, the dual on the right.
In the row below are the complementary path sequences. On the left the complementary to the original. And on the right the  complementary to the dual one.

3-2-1-4-11-6-9-8-7-10-5  *  7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-11-10-9
9-10-11-8-1-6-3-4-5-2-7  *  5-10-7-8-9-6-11-4-1-2-3

The upper and lower individual digits added together, gives “12”.

It can also be seen that the sequences of paths read crosswise are backwards to each other.

I can also use these properties if I want to create new labyrinths. By interpreting the path sequences of the original and the dual backwards, I create for the original the complementary of the dual, and for the dual the complementary of the original. And vice versa.

If I have a single path sequence, I can calculate the remaining three others purely mathematically.

Sounds confusing, it is too, because we are talking about labyrinths.

For a better understanding you should try it yourself or study carefully the post from Andreas on this topic (Sequences … see below).

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Quite simply: By leaving out the barriers in the minor axes. I have already tried this with the Chartres labyrinth some years ago. And in the last both posts on this subject with the types Auxerre and Reims. You can read about that in the related posts below.

Today I repeat this for the Chartres labyrinth. Here the original in essential form, in a concentric style.

The Chartres labyrinth

The Chartres labyrinth

The original with all lines and the path in the labyrinth, Ariadne’s thread. The lunations and the six petals in the middle belong to the style Chartres and are left out here.

Now without the barriers in the minor axes.

The Chartres labyrinth without the barriers

The Chartres labyrinth without the barriers

All circuits can be included in the labyrinth originating now, differently from the types Auxerre and Reims. The path sequence is: 5-4-3-2-1-6-11-10-9-8-7-12. We have eight turning points with stacked circuits. It is self-dual. That means that the way out has the same rhythm as the way in.

But this 11 circuit labyrinth is quite different from the more known 11 circuit labyrinth, that can be generated from the enlarged seed  pattern.
Since this looks thus:

The 11 circuit labyrinth made from the seed pattern

The 11 circuit labyrinth made from the seed pattern

The path sequence here is: 5-2-3-4-1-6-11-8-9-10-7-12. We have got four turning points with embedded circuits. It is developed from quite another construction principle than the Chartres labyrinth. However, it is self-dual.


Now we turn to the complementary labyrinth.

The complementary labyrinth is generated by mirroring the original. Then thus it looks:

The complementary Chartres labyrinth

The complementary Chartres labyrinth

The entry into the labyrinth happens on the 7th circuit, the center is reached from the 5th circuit. The barriers are differently arranged in the right and left axes, the upper ones remain. It is self-dual.

Without the barriers it looks thus:

The complementary Chartres labyrinth without the barriers

The complementary Chartres labyrinth without the barriers

The transformation again works, as it does for the original. The path sequence is: 7-8-9-10-11-6-1-2-3-4-5-12. Also this labyrinth is self-dual.

We confront it with the complementary labyrinth, generated from the seed pattern.

The complementary 11 circuit labyrinth made from the seed pattern

The complementary 11 circuit labyrinth made from the seed pattern

The path sequence on this is: 7-10-9-8-11-6-1-4-3-2-5-12.
Contrarily to the original this type did not show up historically.

So we have created two completely new 11 circuit labyrinths from the Chartres labyrinth, which look different than the 11 circuit labyrinths that can be developed from the seed pattern.

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Quite simply: By leaving out the barriers in the minor axes. I have already tried this with the Chartres labyrinth (see related posts below). But is that also possible with any other Medieval labyrinth?

In part 1 I had made it for the type Auxerre. Now I take the type Reims which is also self-dual like Chartres and Auxerre. And again I take the complementary version. All examples are presented in the concentric style.

The Reims labyrinth

The Reims labyrinth

 

Here the original with all lines and the path in the labyrinth, Ariadne’s thread. The barriers in the upper minor axis are identical with those in the type Chartres, the barriers in the horizontal axis are different from Chartres, as well as the arrangement of the turning points in the main axis below the center.

The Reims labyrinth without the barriers

The Reims labyrinth without the barriers

The barriers are left out. When drawing the path I had to discover that four lanes cannot be included. These are the both outermost and the both innermost tracks (1, 2, 10, 11). Hence, I have anew numbered the circuits and there remain only 7 circuits instead of the original 11. However, this also means that by changing the Reims  Medieval labyrinth into a concentric Classical labyrinth through this method not an 11 circuit labyrinth is generated, but a 7 circuit.

The circular 7 circuit labyrinth

The circular 7 circuit labyrinth

This is an up to now hardly known and not so interesting labyrinth. Since one enters the labyrinth on the first circuit and arrives at the center from the last. The path sequence is very simple: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, a simple serpentine pattern.


Now we turn to the complementary labyrinth:

The complementary Reims labyrinth

The complementary Reims labyrinth

The complementary labyrinth is generated by mirroring the original one. The upper barriers remain, right and left they run differently and in the main axis, the turning points shift. The entrance into the labyrinth changes to the middle (lane 9) and the entrance into the center is from further out (lane 3).

The complementary Reims labyrinth without the barriers

The complementary Reims labyrinth without the barriers

As with the original four lanes can not be inserted (1, 2, 10, 11). Hence, a 7 circuit labyrinth arises again. I have anew renumbered the lanes and have drawn the labyrinth anew.

Then thus it looks:

The circular 7 circuit labyrinth

The circular 7 circuit labyrinth

The labyrinth is entered on the 7th lane, the center is reached from the first lane. The path sequence is: 7-6-5-4-3-2-1-8. This labyrinth does not belong to the historically known labyrinths. However, it has already appeared in this blog (see related posts below).

The surprising fact is that again no 11 circuit Classical labyrinth could be generated through the transformation. Rather two 7 circuit labyrinths.

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Quite simply: By leaving off the barriers in the minor axes. I have already tried this with the Chartres labyrinth (see related posts below). But is that also possible with every other Medieval labyrinth?

As an example I have chosen the type Auxerre that Andreas showed here recently. This labyrinth is self dual as are Chartres and Reims, therefore of special quality. And they all have a complementary version.

The Auxerre labyrinth

The Auxerre labyrinth

Here the original with all the lines and the path in the labyrinth, Ariadne’s thread. The barriers in the minor axes are identical with those of the Chartres type. There is only another arrangement of the turning points (the lanes 4, 5, 7, 8) in the middle of the main axis.

The original Auxerre labyrinth without the barriers

The original Auxerre labyrinth without the barriers

The barriers are omitted. When drawing Ariadne’s thread, I found that four tracks could not be inserted. Hence, I have anew numbered the circuits and there remain now 7 circuits instead of the original 11. However, this also means that by changing this Medieval labyrinth into a concentric Classical labyrinth through this method no 11 circuit labyrinth is generated, but a 7 circuit.

The 7 circuit circular Cretan labyrinth

The 7 circuit circular Cretan labyrinth

If one looks more exactly at it, one recognises the well-known path sequence: 3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8. We got a Cretan labyrinth in concentric style.


Now we turn to the complementary labyrinth:

The complementary Auxerre labyrinth

The complementary Auxerre labyrinth

The complementary labyrinth is generated by mirroring the original one. The upper barriers remain, right and left they run differently and in the main axis, the turning points shift. The entrance into the labyrinth changes to the middle (lane 9) and the entrance into the center is from further out (lane 3).

The complementary Auxerre labyrinth without the barriers

The complementary Auxerre labyrinth without the barriers

As with the original, four lanes can not be inserted (4, 5, 7, 8). Therefore, the result is again a 7 circuit labyrinth. I renumbered the lanes and have redrawn the labyrinth.

This is how it now looks like:

The complementary 7 circuit circular Cretan labyrinth

The complementary 7 circuit circular Cretan labyrinth

The labyrinth is entered on the 5th lane, the center is reached from the 3rd lane. The path sequence is: 5-6-7-4-1-2-3-8. This labyrinth is not one of the historically known labyrinths. But it showed up in this blog several times (see related posts below). Because it belongs to the interesting labyrinths among the mathematically possible 7 circuit labyrinths.

The surprising fact is that no 11 circuit Classical labyrinth could be generated through the transformation. But for that  the 7 circuit Cretan labyrinth. Therefore we can say that the heart of the Medieval Auxerre labyrinth is the Cretan (Minoan) labyrinth as it is in the Chartres labyrinth.

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