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Recently I became aware of this illustration:

The Rauner Library from Hanover (USA) acquired recently a specially remarkable manuscript. The manuscript is a copy of the Taj Torah produced in Yemen c. 1400-1450. This is one of only three known Hebrew manuscripts with illustrated carpet pages.

The labyrinth in the Taj Torah

The labyrinth in the Taj Torah (Illustration with kind permission of © Rauner Library)

It is a 6 circuit Jericho labyrinth. The walls are drawn with a thick red line and with a black double line. The way into the middle (Ariadne’s thread) is indicated through a banner. With this the structure of the labyrinth is revealed very well. The entrance is on top.

In a great number of manuscripts the city of Jericho is shown as a labyrinth or in the center of a labyrinth. This tradition is proved in different cultural spheres from the 9th up to the 19th century. The labyrinth type used for the Jericho Labyrinth is from the Classical 7 circuit (Cretan) on to the Chartres labyrinth.

Under them are also some 6 circuit labyrinths with 7 walls which are probably based on the Jewish tradition of the seven walls around the city of Jericho. They show an advancement of the labyrinth form.

The oldest known Jericho labyrinth with the same alignment as in the Taj Torah can be seen on a page of a Hebrew Old Testament which was completed by Josef von Xanten in 1294.

That is the reason why Andreas Frei name this type as “von Xanten”.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in a Hebrew Bible

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in a Hebrew Bible from 1294 / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 225

In the book of Hermann Kern one can find other examples of this type. One is found in the Farhi Bible from the 14th century.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in the Farhi Bible

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) in the Farhi Bible from 1366-1383 / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 227

On a Hebrew scroll from the 17th century is this drawing. Here, as well as in the upper labyrinth, the entrance is at the bottom. The first turn goes to the right.

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) on a Hebrew scroll

The Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) on a Hebrew scroll from the 17th century / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinths, fig. 229

The essential of a labyrinth figure can be shown through a geometrical construction in  a drawing.

The Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

On the following drawings the labyrinth is mirrored, the path first turns to the left. The path sequence, numbered from the outside inwards (in green), is 0-3-4-5-2-1-6-7. If one numbers the paths from the inside outwardly (in blue) the path sequence will be 0-1-6-5-2-3-4-7.

The original Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The original Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

If one draws a labyrinth according to this order, one receives the dual labyrinth. This looks here differently than the original one. This shows that this type of labyrinth is not selfdual as for example the Cretan 7 circuit labyrinth. One obtains a new labyrinth with another structure.

For more information about that context I recommend the website of my co-author Andreas Frei about the pattern (in German). Link >

The dual Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

The dual Jericho Labyrinth type von Xanten

Here is the alignment of the original Labyrinth depicted as a rectangular diagram:

The pattern of the Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) as diagram

The pattern of the Jericho Labyrinth (type von Xanten) as diagram

In this diagram with the entrance below on the right, and the center on the top on the right too, the path structure can also be presented very nicely. It is simply Ariadne’s thread as an uninterrupted line in angular form. Andreas calls this the pattern, and shows it a little bit differently. However, the essential things are identical.

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The oldest known labyrinth figure is the Classical 7 Circuit labyrinth (sometimes also called: the Cretan labyrinth). Its origin is about 1200 B.C. The further development falls in the time of the Roman empire from 165 B.C. till 400 A.D. The general name is Roman labyrinth and there are different types again. They have in common that different sectors (mostly four) are run one after the other.

The Classical 7 circuit labyrinth in square form

The Classical 7 circuit labyrinth in square form

In his book “Labyrinths and Mazes of the World” (published in 2003 by Gaia Books, London) Jeff Saward has described how the development of the Roman labyrinth from the Classical labyrinth is possible. Her I only want to put this across in a few steps.

We begin with the Classical labyrinth in square form.
In the drawings the boundary lines are shown in black. The seed pattern contained therein is emphasized in blue. The ways are put in orange, in the same width as the boundary lines.

The whole figure is reduced to a quarter through a rotation. The vertical parts of half the seed pattern move to a horizontal line.

The quartered Classical labyrinth

The quartered Classical labyrinth

To generate an entire Roman labyrinth from the quartered labyrinth, another two circuits must be inserted in every sector: One around the middle, and one at the outside. In the outer rings one walks to the the next sector, the last path leads to the center.
If one examines exactly the paths, one can recognize that the way is the same as the way back in a Classical labyrinth. Or differently expressed: In a Roman labyrinth one wanders four times the way back of a Classical labyrinth.

The Roman labyrinth

The Roman labyrinth

The path sequence can be understood with the help of the figures.  So one well can see the Classical labyrinth inside the Roman labyrinth.

Even better one recognizes the relationship with the Classical labyrinth in the diagram illustration.

The diagram of the Roman labyrinth

The diagram of the Roman labyrinth

The Roman labyrinth is self-dual like it is the Classical labyrinth. One sees this well in the following graphics. Howsoever the diagram is rotated or mirrored, the path sequence is always the same. Also it plays no role whether one walks in direction to the center or reversed, or whether one fancies the entrance below or on top.

The diagram of the Classical labyrinth in four variants

The diagram of the Classical labyrinth in four variants

There are different historical Roman labyrinth of this kind. The oldest one comes from the second century A.D. and is to be seen on a mosaic in Pont Chevron (France). This is why Andreas Frei calls it type Pont Chevron (see link below).

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For every labyrinth exists a second or dual one. And in special cases the dual one looks like the original one. Then this is a self-dual labyrinth.

These connections should be explained here.

Andreas Frei has done this on his website under the topic “Grundlagen” (basics), to this day only in German. I expressly recommend to take a look at it, there are some meaningful drawings also.

Here again we will see it from the practical side. Hence, it is a continuation of the post from the 1st of September, 2013 about the circular 7 circuit labyrinths. Through the dual labyrinths here we will get six more to add to the seven there. So we will have 13 new labyrinths in all.

How we will reach for that, should be shown step by step. Maybe a little bit awkwardly, but I hope, understandably.

We number all labyrinths from the outside inwards in black. “0” stands for the  outside and “8” for the center. The path sequence, that is the order in which we walk through the circuits to arrive at the center, is noticed on the bottom left in black.
Then we number all circuits once again from the inside outwardly in green. “0” is now the center and “8” is now the outside. We write down the circuits in the order in which we walk them while going backwards from the middle. This path sequence is noticed on the bottom right in green.

Typ 032147658Typ 034765218Typ 034567218Typ 036547218Typ 054367218Typ 056723418Typ 056743218Typ 056741238

As already mentioned, there is to every (original) labyrinth a second (dual) one. And this arises when we interchange inside and outside, when we turn inside out. The path sequence which we will get, is normally different from the one of the original labyrinth.

If it is the same, we speak of a self-dual labyrinth. Then an internal symmetry is given. Or differently expressed: The rhythm and the motion sequence is the same when stepping inside or outside.  In our examples this applies to the first (well-known Cretan) labyrinth, and to the last, a new labyrinth.


The remaining six have another path sequence and, hence, are to be taken for new, different labyrinths.
Here the six new types (click to enlarge, print or save):

Typ 076321458Typ 076123458Typ 076143258Typ 076125438Typ 074561238Typ 076541238

These examples shows that always at first the middle is circled around. After that one moves inside the the labyrinth and finally one enters the center from the 3rd or the 5th circuit.

In the case of the types introduced in the last article the entry into the center was always from the outermost, the first circuit. Here we have the circling around the middle immediately after stepping into the labyrinth.

The motion sequences are completely different.
It would be of interest exploring that by a temporary or even a permanent labyrinth. Worldwide there are still no labyrinths of this kind.
The shape must not necessarily be perfectly circular. It is important only to adhere to the path sequence.
For the rest, they can be as simply build in sand like the types introduced in the below mentioned post.

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In the meantime, I have developed for myself a method to construct a labyrinth by only using the path sequence. I do not apply the seed pattern to do that.

I would like to show this here for a 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the path sequence  0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8. It is from an other shape as the usual classical labyrinth and was to be seen in a previous post.

First I draw freehand the path of the labyrinth (Ariadne’s thread) according to the path sequence. To get an other shape, I cross the main axis with the 4th and the 7th circuit. From the sketch I derive the number of the turning points and the construction lines. Then I count the number of the ways between the central point and the turning points which are also centers in the further construction.

The freehand sketch

The freehand sketch

The broad for the paths and the walls is the same with 1 m, this makes a dimension between axes of 2 m. The diameter of the middle is the fourfold dimension between axes. The lengths of the different construction lines are calculated from this details.
I begin with a horizontal line (M2 – M3) and I fix the central point M1 by applying the two distances from M2 and M3. In the same way the other points are defined. (Fig. 1)

The construction lines

The construction lines

Starting from the center M1 I draw auxiliary circles in an interval  of 1 m from the inner to the external diameter. (Fig. 2)

The auxiliary circles

The auxiliary circles

The lines M1 – M2 and M1 – M3 are extended up to the external diameter, also the lines M2 – M4 and M3 – M5. (Fig. 3) They are limiting the circular arcs.

The external arcs

The external arcs

Then the different curved sections are drawn with the help of the path sequence in the centers M2 to M5.
In fig. 4 this are the semicircles around the turning points of the ways 5/6 in M2 and the ways 6/7 in M3. The construction is made through connection with the end points of the bigger external arcs.
In fig. 5 the curved sections of the remaining external arcs are formed around the centers M2 and M3.
In fig. 6 follows the connection of the ways 1/2 around M4 and the ways 2/3 around M5.
In fig. 7 the open, innermost pieces of the way are connected by strictly watching the path sequence. These are curved sections which joins each other without sharp bends.

The inner arcs

The inner arcs

In fig. 8 I turn all curves and lines around the center M1 in such a way that the entry axis for the middle is strictly vertical.

Fig. 9 shows the completed labyrinth. The paths are highlighted in color. The walls have the same broad and are left white. The left blank fontanel is good to recognise. It has another shape as the usual classical labyrinth. It appears when the paths are drawn in constant width.

The 7 circuit Knidos labyrinth

The 7 circuit Knidos labyrinth

The drawing is rather a sort of model or template. The labyrinth can still have got different shapes, can be angular or completely round, right- or left-handed. The paths and the walls can be of different widths, also the middle can be bigger or smaller. It is only important to maintain the alignment of the labyrinth.

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To draw the labyrinth from the basic pattern, still fascinates everybody which does it the first time. There is the basic pattern for the boundary lines (the walls) and since 2010 also the basic pattern for the path, Ariadne’s thread.

However, this is not the only possibility. On exploring the meander I have generated labyrinths from different meander combinations, and have found well-known and new types unknown still up to now.
I have seen the meander as a source for the path sequence in the labyrinth. Since a labyrinth is defined above all by its path sequence, even tough not only.

When drawing freehand Ariadne’s thread I have discovered that there are sometimes several possibilities to change the direction of a circuit.

This inspired me to look for other variations for the well-known classical 7 circuit labyrinth with the meanwhile equally well-known path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8.
And I have found three other labyrinth shapes with the same path sequence.

I have determined the basic pattern contained in it and the angular thread of Ariadne in form of the meander not until the labyrinth construction.

Here at first the familiar classical labyrinth in “pure form”:

The classical 7 circuit labyrinth

The classical 7 circuit labyrinth

The basic pattern for the walls is emphasized in color. Ariadne’s thread in diagram form shows that the path in the labyrinth is composed of two simple meanders (named type 4 by me).
The labyrinth has 7 circuits, four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8.


In this variation the fourth circuit crosses the main axis and from the same path sequence as in the preceding labyrinth appears a new type:

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 4th circuit crossing the axis

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 4th circuit crossing the axis

The basic pattern is pulled apart and split. Ariadne’s thread is equally pulled apart, but both meander elements are clearly recognizable.
The labyrinth has 7 circuits, four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8, however, quite an other shape.


Here the 7th circuit crosses the main axis and from the same path sequence a new type is generated:

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 7th circuit crossing the axis

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 7th circuit crossing the axis

The basic pattern is shifted again and split. Ariadne’s thread is changed, recognizable, however, the second element is mirrored.
The labyrinth has 7 circuits, four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8, however, again quite an other appearance.


Now the 4th and 7th circuit crosses the main axis and from the same path sequence again a new type is produced:

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 4th and the 7th circuit crossing the axis

A 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the 4th and the 7th circuit crossing the axis

The basic pattern is shifted and split. Ariadne’ s thread is changed, however, the two meander elements are recognizable.
The labyrinth has 7 circuits, four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8, however, again quite an other appearance.

There are for the same path sequence four different shapes. It’s difficulty to name them correctly (and in short terms). Here one sees clearly that the information of the path sequence is not sufficient for the definition of a type.

Now one could ask, why there existed up to now no labyrinths of these types. From the modified basic pattern they are not easily to build, from the meander probably also not.

Considered closely, these three new variations doesn’t look especially nice. The components of square and circle do not make an appearance. The original, oldest and well-known version of the classical labyrinth is well-balanced and harmonious. There’s nothing like the good, old Cretan labyrinth. This shows up once more.

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In the preceding parts the meander row was used or different types were combined. Now an other kind of the combination should be expressed.

In a meander the first line (called “0” in the sequence) is the surroundings of the labyrinth, the place where the way starts. The last line is already the center, where the way ends. In a meander row the first line and the last line of an element are “overlaid”. This line forms a circuit more when a labyrinth is generated from it. However, one can leave out this line and add directly the next element, even mirrored or turned around.

I already used such a meander in my first post about the construction of a labyrinth from a meander without overlooking, however, the whole connections.
To read up in the post from January 6, 2012: How to Turn a Meander into a Labyrinth.

Here once again the first transformation:

I take the meander type 4 and add a rotated meander of the same type without “interlink”.
I get a 6 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-6-5-4-7.

A 6 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 6 circuit Knidos labyrinth

This is a 6 circuit classical labyrinth with a bigger middle. One could call it also Jericho labyrinth, because these have only 6 circuits and consequently 7 walls.
This alignment have been found up to now in no historical labyrinth. How could one name it correctly? The statement about the path sequence only is not enough.

Furthermore I have discovered that it is possible to change the direction of a circuit and to cross the axis while developing a labyrinth directly from the path sequence. This leads to different labyrinth forms with the same path sequence. (Andreas Frei calls it different patterns).

For the above mentioned path sequence there is still an other possibility to construct a labyrinth. It looks thus:

A 6 circuit Knidos labyrinth with "crossed axis"

A 6 circuit Knidos labyrinth with “crossed axis”

Besides, the main axis is “crossed” when turning from the first to the sixth circuit. I practically circle  around the center and shift the following changes of the course to the other side.
Then, however, the meander from the previous example is not appropriate any more. (Andreas Frei has generously drawn my attention to this fact).
The appropriate meander as a picture of the angular thread of Ariadne arises only afterwards and could look like on top.
The labyrinth is another type than the previous one in spite of the same path sequence.

This alignment is known in historical labyrinths.

In the catalogue of Andreas Frei this type is called “St. Gallen“.


Now I combine the meander type 6 and type 4 in this way.
I will get a 8 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-5-2-3-4-1-8-7-6-9.

A 8 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 8 circuit Knidos labyrinth

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it. So we have a new type.

As before there is an other variation possible, however, we leave it out.


I take once again meander type 4 and join three of them without “interlink”.
I get a 9 circuit labyrinth with 6 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-6-5-4-9-8-7-10.

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it. So we have a new type.

As one sees, (almost) no limits are set to the imagination and still many combinations are conceivable.

Now it is a matter rather of finding out or realize the nicest or “walking-friendliest” of all these new types.

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In the first part we connected meanders  of the same type. Now we want to combine the different types.

We will start with the types 4 and 6. As first I take type 4 and attach type 6.
I will get a 9 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-9-6-7-8-5-10.

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can call the labyrinth: A 9 circuit  classical labyrinth with a larger center or a 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-9-6-7-8-5-10.
It can be also developed from the well-known seed pattern in modified form.
In the catalogue of Andreas Frei this type is called “Löwenstein 9a“.


Now I take first type 6 and attach type 4.
Again I get a 9 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points, but the path sequence changes to 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-9-8-7-10.

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: A 9 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or a 9 circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-9-8-7-10.
It can be also developed from the well-known seed pattern in modified form.
In the catalogue of Andreas Frei this type is called “Löwenstein 9b“.


Now we combine type 4 and type 8 and must obtain two different 11 circuit labyrinths with 4 turning points.

First I take type 4 and attach type 8.
I will get a 11 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-11-6-9-8-7-10-5-12.

A 11 circuit  Knidos labyrinth

A 11 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: A 11 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or a 11 circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-11-6-9-8-7-10-5-12.

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it.


Now I take type 8 first and attach type 4.
I get a 11 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-11-10-9-12.

An 11 circuit Knidos labyrinth

An 11 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: An 11 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or an 11 circuit  Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-11-10-9-12.

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it.


Now I take first type 8 and attach type 6.
I get a 13 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-13-10-11-12-9-14.

A 13 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 13 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: A 13 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or 11 a circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8-13-10-11-12-9-14.

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it.


Now I take first type 6 and attach type 8.
I get a 13 circuit labyrinth with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-13-8-11-10-9-12-7-14.

A 13 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 13 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: A 13 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or a 13 circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 4 turning points and the path sequence 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-13-8-11-10-9-12-7-14.

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it.

One could make up still more combinations. For example, the types 4, 6 and 8 connected together, would amount to a 17 circuit labyrinth with 6 turning points. Then one could change the order: First type 8, then type 6 and then type 4. This would amount to a 17 circuit labyrinth again, but with an other path sequence.
This labyrinths however would be too big and “unwieldy” to work with them.

One could also combine two identical types with another, e.g., first type 4, then type 6, then again type 4. This would result in a 13 circuit labyrinth with 6 turning points.

Or type 8, then twice type 4 would result in a 15 circuit labyrinth with 6 turning points.

We save the construction. At the end we will generate a 15 circuit labyrinth from the types 4 and 6.

I take type 6 at first, followed by type 4 and once again type 6. This results in a 15 circuit labyrinth with 6 turning points. The path sequence is 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-9-8-7-10-15-12-13-14-11-16.

A 15 circuit Knidos labyrinth

A 15 circuit Knidos labyrinth

I can name the labyrinth: A 15 circuit classical labyrinth with a larger center or a 15 circuit Knidos labyrinth.
I could add: with 6 turning points and the path sequence 0-5-2-3-4-1-6-9-8-7-10-15-12-13-14-11-16.

To my knowledge this alignment was not used in historical labyrinths, and up to now no labyrinth was built with it.

It would be interesting to walk this labyrinth and to experience its rhythm. Even for a gardener it would be a challenge. Who will venture the adventure?

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