How to make a 7 Circuit Labyrinth from one Meander

We already had this topic. Only, the operative word is: from one meander.  Since the well-known 7 circuit classical labyrinth is composed of two meanders.

The particularly suited meander for this in schematic view looks as follows:

Meander with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

Meander with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

The deciphered meander delivers the path sequence for a labyrinth with its line sequence.

The labyrinth developed from it, in a round shape and a larger middle looks as follows:

A 7 circuit meander labyrinth

A 7 circuit meander labyrinth

The walls are shown in black, the seed pattern contained in the lines is highlighted in colour.

It is a 7 circuit classical labyrinth with the path sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8. It is also remarkable that the walls do not cross. It has only two turning points and quite another alignment than the well-known classical labyrinth with four turning points and the path sequence 0-3-2-1-4-7-6-5-8.
This can be constructed, as everybody knows, from the seed pattern, but also from two joined together meanders of the simple type.
There are different methods or technologies to develop a labyrinth. I would like to call the procedure applied here the meander method.

This begs the question if there is a historical model. To my knowledge there has not been this type yet. (Objections welcome).

But where do we find such a meander? Unfortunately, in the antique collection of the Martin von Wagner Museum of the University of Würzburg I did not (as) yet find one.
In Hermann Kern’s book “Labyrinths” is the image of a Kylix from the British Museum of London (E 84), it shows the dead Minotaur dragged out of the labyrinth by Theseus .

Red-figured Attic kylix from 440-430 BC

Red-figured Attic kylix from 440-430 BC / Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinthe, 1982, pict. 3, German edition

Hermann Kern describes the edge as a ribbon with angular shaped, contra-rotating connected spirals. The gate shows overlapping meanders.

The archeologists regard the angular shaped, open, interdependent spirals  either as preliminary stages of the meander or even as meanders. Since they also speak of hook meanders or broken meanders (Source: R.M. Cook, Clazomenian Sarcophagi, published by von Zabern in 1981).

However, I also can develop a labyrinth from this spiral. Since the line sequence is identical with the one in the meander. If I take the white line, I also have a meander.

Spiral with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

Spiral with the line sequence 0-7-2-5-4-3-6-1-8

In the spiral I can very well reproduce the change of directions. I turn inwards on the lines 0-7-2-5-4, then I jump to line 3 and go on the lines 3-6-1-8 outwardly. In the labyrinth this is the movement from the outside into the center around the two turning points, so I have the same sequence of movements.

Back to the Attic kylix: On the edge are 9 checkered patterns with 5 squares  and in between are in one  field 4 double spirals and in eight fields three double spirals. All together we find 28 double spirals. In the vertical frieze on the kylix are two checkered patterns with 9 squares and three meander crosses.

Are these only ornaments and decorations? Or do they mean more? This can be subject of speculation. For me these ornaments contain enough allusions on the labyrinth and even the patterns of “real” labyrinths.

According to Hermann Kern the meander could be a token for the labyrinth from the 5th century BC on. Others speak of a sign or an ideogram for the labyrinth (Source: Eva Wilson, British Museum Pattern Books: Roman Designs, published in 1999, page 12).

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The Indian Labyrinth (Chakra Vyuha)

This labyrinth has a triangle as a basic pattern. It is as easy to construct as the classical labyrinth. We do not know by whom it was invented. We also do not know whether his origin lies in the Indian cultural space. Often it is called Chakra Vyuha, a strategical battle formation which plays a role in the Hindu Mahabharata.

It has only two turning points and a centre that looks like a spiral (but however is not a real spiral). Variations are very slightly possible. Then one must add only some more sections to the basic triangle. Or form the centre a little bit differently, or make it bigger.

We begin with an easy implementation by dividing the sides of the triangle into 4 equal segments.

The basic pattern

The basic pattern

We start at the top and connect arched-shaped point 1 with the free end 1 of the line below.

The first steps

The first steps

Then we connect step by step from the left to the right in same distance every free end of a line or a point round the before drawn line from 2 to 6. The result is a labyrinth with two turning points and 5 circuits.

The complete labyrinth

The complete labyrinth

The exact centres and radii can be taken from the following drawing. The labyrinth is built by different arcs with different radii and different starting and endpoints. However, they stumble freely of crease each other. Thereby harmonious lines arise.

The layout

The layout

This labyrinth has another “feeling” than the classical 7-circuit labyrinth. One notices this if one is walking the labyrinth. This can be done really or with the eyes, e.g., here on the screen.
But typically as with all “real” labyrinths is, that from the beginning one turns immediately inside, goes back and outwardly and arrives unexpectedly suddenly the centre. This is also expressed in the path sequence: 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 – 5 – 6.

Here you will get the drawing as a PDF file to see, to print, to download, to copy it.

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