# 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

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

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 / 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

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 Labyrinth of the Minotaur

We know the “staff” of the labyrinth from the Greek mythology: King Minos of Crete, his wife Pasiphaë, her daughter Ariadne, the hero Theseus, the master builder and inventor Daedalos, his son Icarus and the impossible mythological monster Minotaur, part person, part animal for whom the labyrinth was built as a prison.

The origin of the labyrinth is supposed around the Mediterranean at the times of the Minoan civilization. On Cretan coins the classical 7-circuit labyrinth with its unequivocal way into the centre is illustrated, as we know it even today as the “real” labyrinth. However, as a prison for the Minotaur this would have been extremely inexpedient. Only a maze with its dead ends and the bewildering paths could have been suited for this.
Since the British archeologist Sir Arthur John Evans excavated the ruins of the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, the location is seen as the labyrinth of the Minotaur. But there is not a scientific proof for it till this day.

Did the the labyrinth come into being this way? Is there a historical, real labyrinth in which one could have imprisoned the Minotaur?

Maybe it was rather the cave system from Gortys, also on Crete and not so far from Knossos? It is even called labyrinth.
The best expert of this cave system is certainly the Swiss Thomas Waldmann who has been countless times in the subterranean passageways, knows a lot  and has documented everything on his website “The Cretan Labyrinth Cave”.
In cooperation with him a group of the University of Oxford explored the cave system this summer. They called the project “Labyrinth Lost” and are reporting on it and will present the results of their research.

Maybe this labyrinth cave may be accepted as the labyrinth of the Minotaur?
In any case, a subterranean cave would be a better prison than a physical structure.

Maybe we will never find it out and thus the mystery of the labyrinth will stay alive.