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Or more precisely: The circuit sequence of the the row-shaped visceral labyrinths. Amongst the up to now known 27 visceral labyrinths there are 21 row-shaped visceral walk-through labyrinths.  The circuit sequence may serve as a distinguishing feature. Here I would like to show the sequences of all 21 specimens.

Look at the single picture in a bigger version by clicking on them:

The method is to number the vertical loops in series from left to right. The shifting elements do not receive a number. Besides, “0” stands for outside. The transverse loops in E 3384 r_4 and E 3384 r_5 are numbered the same way. A special specimen is E 3384 v_4. Here some loops are “evacuated”. However, also there a useful circuit sequence can be found.

All labyrinths are different. No one is like the other. That alone is remarkable. So they do not follow an uniform pattern.

A first look at the circuit sequences shows that they resemble very much the circuit sequences of the one-arm alternating classical labyrinths. That means: The first digit after 0 is always an odd number. Then even and odd numbers are following alternating.

One of the next articles will deal with the decoding of the circuit sequences.

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Christmas 2017

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

Christmas tree Labyrinth

The complementary 7 circuit Classical labyrinth as Christmas tree Labyrinth

There are 42 different one-arm alternating labyrinths with 7 circuits. Among these there is one pair of complementary interesting labyrinths. Now how does it look in pairs of complementary unintersting labyrinths? This question has already been indirectly answered in my last post (see related posts below): There is none! This sounds surprising. Therefore I address it further here. The 42 labyrinths form 21 complementary pairs. One of it is composed of 2 interesting labyrinths. We also know there are 22 interesting labyrinths. So the other 20 pairs are made up of an interesting and an uninteresting labyrinth each. Therefore no possibility remains for a pair with two complementary uninteresting labyrinths. What is the reason for that?

As we have seen, only in alternating labyrinths with an odd number of circuits it is possible to derive a complementary (see related posts). In such labyrinths the pathway always enters on an odd-numbered ciruit and also reaches the center from an odd-numbered circuit. Further, in one-arm labyrinths the pathway cannot enter the labyrinth on the same circuit from which it reaches the center.

In uninteresting labyrinths the pathway always must enter the labyrinth on the outermost circuit or reach the center from the innermost circuit. The complementary is derived by mirroring. By this, the outermost is transformed to the innermost circuit and vice versa. If in an original labyrinth the pathway enters on the first circuit, it is an uninteresting labyrinth. In the complementary the path will enter on the innermost circuit. Thus the complementary is not an uninteresting labyrinth, unless the path would reach the center from the innermost circuit. This, however is not possible, as it already enters the labyrinth on this circuit. The original is an unintersting, but the complementary an interesting labyrinth. The other alternative would be that the path in the original labyrinth reached the center from the innermost circuit. But then in the complementary it would reach the center from the outermost circuit what is not an unintersting labyrinth. Therefore the complementary could only be an unintersting labyrinth, if the path would enter it on the outermost circuit. This, however is impossible, as the path reaches the center from this circuit.

These results are only valid for one-arm labyrinths with up to 7 circuits. In labyrinths with mulitiple arms, the pathway may reach the center from the same circuit on which it enters the labyrinth. Thus, for example it could enter the original labyrinth on the first circuit and also reach the center from the first circuit. This would consitute an uninteresting labyrinth. In the complementary, the pathway would then enter the labyrinth on the innermost circuit and also reach the center from the innermost circuit, what again would qualify for an uninteresting labyrinth. In one-arm labyriths with more thean 7 circuits the definition of what constitutes an uninteresting labyrinth can be extended. In these cases trivial circuits can be added not only at the outside or inside of smaller interesting labyrinths (what generates uninteresting labyrints) but also on central circuits between other interesting elements at the inside and outside of the labyrinth, what also may generate uninteresting labyrinths.

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Or differently asked: Can I transform a classical labyrinth into a Babylonian visceral labyrinth?

Therefore we should first see the differences; and then the interlinking components.

As an example I start with the best known classical labyrinth: The 7 circuit Cretan labyrinth.

The 7 circuit labyrinth

The 7 circuit Classical labyrinth, on the right the complementary to it

It has a center and an entrance. There is only one way in. In the middle I am at the aim and at the end of the way. To leave I must turn and take the same way in reverse order.

Among the Babylonian visceral labyrinths one can distinguish two main groups. One are more round and devoured into each other, while in others the loops are arranged row-shaped.

Here as an example the labyrinth E3384_r8 on a clay tablet from Tell Barri (Syria) (for more, please see related posts below).

A Babylonisn visceral labyrinth

A Babylonian visceral labyrinth with 10 circuits and two entries

In the visceral labyrinth I have two entries and no real center. Nevertheless, the way leads through all of the loops to the other access. It is a walk-through labyrinth.

The circuits here are numbered from the left to the right, while in the classical labyrinths they are numbered from the outside inwards. “0” stands for the outside, in the classical labyrinth the last figure for the center.

Every labyrinth is designated by a row of numbers, the circuit sequence or the path sequence. This is the order in which the circuits will be run one by one.

The connecting element therefore is the circuit sequence. Hence, we must construct “row-shaped” walk-through labyrinths from the circuit sequence of the classical labyrinths.

At first we take the 7 circuit labyrinth as shown above. We use the circuit sequence and connect the circuits arranged in row accordingly. The second “0” indicates the walk-through labyrinth.
Then this looks as follows:

Das 7-gängige Labyrinth als Eingeweidelabyrinth

The 7 circuit classical labyrinth as visceral labyrinth, on the right the complementary

We make this still for some more classical labyrinths.

Das 3-gängige Labyrinth

The 3 crcuit labyrinth, on the left the original, on the right the complementary to it

The original is developed from the meander and is also called Knossos labyrinth. The right one is developed from the “emaciated” seed pattern. However, is at the same time complementary to the Knossos labyrinth. Under the walk-in labyrinths the visceral walk-through labyrinths.


A 5 circuit labyrinth:

Das 5-gängige Labyrinth

A 5 circuit labyrinth, on the right the complementary

There are still other 5 circuit labyrinths with an other circuit sequence. But, in principle, the process is the same one.

The shown examples were all self-dual labyrinths.


Now we take a 9 circuit labyrinth. There are more variations:

Das 9-gängige Labyrinth

A 9 circuit labyrinth in four variations

And here the corresponding visceral labyrinths:

Die Eingeweidelabyrinthe

The visceral labyrinths


Here the 11 circuit labyrinth with the corresponding visceral labyrinths:

Das 11-gängige Labyrinth

The 11 circuit labyrinth and its complementary

This one is self-dual again. Therefore there is only one complementary version to it.


Here the 15 circuit labyrinth:

Das 15-gängige Labyrinth

The 15 circuit labyrinth and its complementary

This is also self-dual.

If we compare these newly derived visceral labyrinths to the up to now known historical Babylonian visceral labyrinths, we can ascertain no correspondence. Maybe a clay tablet with an identical labyrinth appears somewhere and sometime?

So far we know about 21 Babylonian visceral labyrinths as row-shaped examples in most different variations.

For comparison I recommend the following article with the overview.

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I have already elaborated on uninteresting and interesting labyrinths (see related posts, below). Unintersting labyrinths can be generated by simply attaching additional trivial circuits to the outside or inside of smaller labyrinths. Interesting labyrinths cannot be obtained this way. This particularly implies, that in interesting labyrinths the pathway may not enter the labyrinth on the outermost circuit or reach the center from the innermost circuit. The dual of an interesting labyrinth is another interesting labyrinth too.

This is different if we derive the complementary labyrinth of an interesting labyrinth. The resultung labyrinth may very well be an uninteresting labyrinth. Complementary labyrinths exist only for alternating labyrinths with an odd number of circuits. To obtain the complementary, the pattern of the original labyrinth is vertically mirrored without interrupting the connections between the outside or center of the labyrinth with their corresponding circuits. Labyrinths with an odd number of circuits always have a central circuit. When the pattern is mirrored, this circuit remains in position, whilst the other circuits change their positions symmetrically around it.

Figure 1. Mirroring

In a labyrinth with seven circuits, e.g., the central circuit is the one with number 4. After the mirroring, this remains in its position as number 4. The outermost circuit, number 1, transforms to the innermost circuit and obtains number 7, circuit 2 changes to circuit 6, circuit 3 to circuit 5, and vice versa.

Now, if in an interesting labyrinth the pathway first leads to the innermost circuit or reaches the center from the outermost circuit, then the complementary to this labyrinth will be an uninteresting labyrinth. This, because in the complementary, the path will enter the labyrinth on the outermost or reach the center from the innermost circuit. Thus, there exist pairs of complementary labyrinths, both of which are interesting and others in which one of the labyrinths is interesting and the other uninteresting.

Now I want to find out which are the pairs of interesting complementary labyrinths. The website of Tony Phillips provides best material for such a purpose. On one page, HERE, are included the seed patterns (left figures) and the patterns (right figures) of the interesting alternating labyrinths with up to 7 circuits. I therefore reproduce the page in fig. 2 and in the following add some comments to the items indicated with red letters:

Figure 2. Interesting Labyrinths

  • a) In addition to the circuits, Tony also counts the exterior (= 0) and the center (= one greater than the number of circuits) of a labyrinth. He refers to this as the depth of the labyrinth. A labyrinth with depth 4, thus, has three circuits, one with depth 6 has 5 circuits and so on.
  • b) Below the two figures (seed pattern und pattern), in each case the sequence of circuits is listed. This also contains the zero for the exterior and the number for the center, here indicated with red boxes. The true sequence of circuits is the sequence of numbers between these boxes.
  • c) If the labyrinth is self-dual, this is indicated as „s.d.“ after the sequence of circuits.
  • d) If this is not the case, anyway only one of each dual example is shown in the figures. However, the sequence of circuits of the dual not shown is listed in parentheses below the sequence of circuits of the labyrinth shown.
  • e) The patterns are drawn in such a manner that the course of the pathway leads from top right to bottom left. This is different from how I do it. I draw the pattern from top left to bottom right. As a consequence, the labyrinth that corresponds with the pattern by Tony rotates anti-clockwise, whereas in my case it rotates clockwise.
  • f) Now, lets consider all interesting (including very interesting) labyrinths with 7 circuits. Of these, there are 22 (6 of them very interesting) interesting labyrinths. In fig. 2 the seed patterns and patterns of only 14 labyrinths are depicted. The missing 8, however, are duals, represented by the sequences of circuits in parentheses.

Among the interesting labyrinths with 7 circuits, only 2 exist, in which the pathway does not enter the labyrinth on the innermost circuit nor reach the center from the outermost circuit. And these two form the only pair of interesting labyrinths complementary to each other. We already know this pair from the first post of this series. It is the basic type labyrinth (g) and the labyrinth with the S-shaped course of the pathway (h).

Figure 3. Complementary and Interesting Labyrinths

These are self-dual and thus very interesting labyrinths. In the other 20 interesting labyrinths, the complementary in each case is an uninteresting labyrinth.

Thus, there are 42 different alternating labyrinths with one arm and 7 circuits. Among these, there are 8 pairs of interesting dual labyrinths, 6 self-dual very interesting labyrinths, but only 1 pair of interesting complementary labyrinths. In addition, there is no pair of interesting complementary labyrinths with less than 7 circuits.

Pairs of complementary interesting labyrinths seem to be relatively rare and thus something special.

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We take a 7-circuit classical labyrinth and number the single circuits from the outside inwards. “0” stands for the outside, “8” denotes the center. I take this two numbers into the circuit sequence, although they are no circuits. As start and end point they help to better understand the structure of the labyrinth.

Ariadne's thread in the 7-circuit labyrinth

Ariadne’s thread in the 7-circuit labyrinth

The circuit sequence is: 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8

Everybody which already has “trampled” Ariadne’s thread (the path) in the snow knows this: Suddenly there is no more place in the middle, and one simply goes out. And already one has created a walk-through labyrinth. This is possible in nearly all labyrinths.

Then maybe it looks like this:

Ariadne's thread in a walk-through labyrinth

Ariadne’s thread in a walk-through labyrinth

If one wants a more compact labyrinth, one must change the shape. The internal circuits become, in the end, a double spiral. We can make either two separate ways or join them. So we will get a bifurcation.

Just about:

The 7-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The 7-circuit walk-through labyrinth

We will get the following circuit sequence if we take the left way or the fork to the left:
0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-0

Now we take first the right way or the fork to the right, then the circuit sequence will be:
0-5-6-7-4-1-2-3-0

Because the two rows are written among each other, they simply can be add up together (without the first and the last digit):
8-8-8-8-8-8-8

This means: If I go to the left, I am in the original labyrinth, if I go to the right, I cross the complementary one.

The complementary labyrinth of the 7-circuit labyrinth

The complementary labyrinth of the 7-circuit labyrinth

It has the circuit sequence 0-5-6-7-4-1-2-3-8.

Or said in other terms: The walk-through labyrinth contains two different labyrinths, the original one and the complementary one.

The 7-circuit labyrinth is self-dual. Therefore I only get two different labyrinths through rotation and mirroring as Andreas has described in detail in his preceding posts.

How does the walk-through labyrinth look if I choose a non self-dual labyrinth?

I take this 9-circuit labyrinth as an example:

A 9-circuit labyrinth

A 9-circuit labyrinth

Here the boundary lines are shown.
On the top left we see the original labyrinth, on the right side is the dual to it.
On the bottom left we see the complementary to the original (on top), on the right side is the dual to it.
However, this dual one is also the complementary to the dual on top.

The first 9-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The first 9-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The first walk-through labyrinth shows the same way as in the original labyrinth if I go to the left. If I go to the right, surprisingly the way is the same as in the complementary labyrinth of the dual one.

And the second one?

The second 9-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The second 9-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The left way corresponds to the dual labyrinth of the original. The right way, however, to the complementary labyrinth of the original.

Now we look again at a self-dual labyrinth, an 11-circuit labyrinth which was developed from the enlarged seed pattern.

An 11-circuit labyrinth in Knidos style

An 11-circuit labyrinth in Knidos style

The left one is the original labyrinth with the circuit sequence:
0-5-2-3-4-1-6-11-8-9-10-7-12

The right one shows the complementary one with the circuit sequence:
0-7-10-9-8-11-6-1-4-3-2-5-12

The test by addition (without the first and the last digit):
12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12-12

Once more we construct the matching walk-through labyrinth:

The 11-circuit walk-through labyrinth

The 11-circuit walk-through labyrinth

Again we see the original and the complementary labyrinth combined in one figure. If we read the sequences of circuits forwards and backwards we also see that both labyrinths are mirror-symmetric. This also applies to the previous walk-through labyrinths.

Now this are of all labyrinth-theoretical considerations. However, has there been such a labyrinth already as a historical labyrinth? By now I never met a 7- or 9-circuit labyrinth, but already an 11-circuit walk-through labyrinth when I explored the Babylons on the Solovetsky Islands (see related posts below). Besides, I have also considered how these labyrinths have probably originated. Certainly not from the precalled theoretical considerations, but rather from a “mutation” of the 11-circuit Troy Towns in the Scandinavian countrys. And connected through that with another view of the labyrinth in this culture.

There is an especially beautiful specimen of a 15-circuit Troy Town under a lighthouse on the Swedish island Rödkallen in the Gulf of Bothnia.

A 15-circuit Troy Town on the island Rödkallen

A 15-circuit Troy Town on the island Rödkallen, photo courtesy of Swedish Lapland.com, © Göran Wallin

It has an open middle and the bifurcation for the choice of the way. This article by Göran Wallin on the website Swedish Lapland.com reports more on Swedish labyrinths.

For me quite a special quality appears in these labyrinths, even if there is joined a change of paradigm.

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It is not possible to design a complementary counterpart for each labyrinth. The complementary is obtained by horizontally mirroring of the pattern whilst the connections between the entrance, the center and their corresponding circuits in the labyrinth are left uninterrupted. If the entrance and the access to the center are situated on the same side of the axis, this does not work.

Figure 1. Alternating Labyrinth with an even Number of Circuits

Fig. 1 shows this with the example of the alternating, one-arm labyrinth with 6 circuits and the sequence of circuits 3 2 1 6 5 4. As can be seen from the pattern (figure in the middle), the entrance and the access to the center are situated on the same side of the axis. The pathway first leads to the 3rd cricuit and finally reaches the center from the 4th circuit. If we want to mirror this pattern and let the connections with the entrance and the center unbroken, then the lines intersect at the position marked with a black circle. Such a figure is not free of crossroads any more and thus no labyrinth. In alternating labyrinths with an even number of cirucits, therefore, there exist no complementary labyrinths.

Now there are also non-alternating labyrinths with an even number of circuits in which the entrance to the labyrinth and the access to the center lie on the opposite sides of the axis. The labyrinth shown in fig. 2 is such an example and has already been repeatedly discussed in this blog.

Figure 2. Non-alternating Labyrinth with an even Number of Circuits

This non-alternating, one-arm labyrinth with 6 circuits has the sequence of circuits 3 2 1-6 5 4. That is the same sequence of cirucits as in labyrinth shown in fig. 1 with the difference, that the pathway traverses the axis between circuit 1 and 6. So we are here presented a labyrinth with an even number of circuits, but with the entrance and access to the center on the opposite sides of the axis. Despite this, it is not possible to form a complementary labyrinth to this. If we mirror the pattern vertically without interrupting the connections with the entrance and the center, this results in two crossroads (highlighted with black circles).

Thus, complementary counterparts can only be found in alternating labyrinths with an odd number of circuits.

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