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Mazes and Labyrinths


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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2192 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2009, 01:20:18 pm »

three or four roads. What if one should lose the clue!" He relates how a poor lunatic had insisted on accompanying them all the way from Candia and following them into the cavern. This man, together with a boy who had a lantern, wandered off and caused the rest of the party--except some Turks, who philosophically remarked that God takes care of madmen--to feel much alarm on their account. They were, however, discovered again an hour later, the boy half dead with fright.

Chambers opened off from the passages, and contained much evidence of former visitors, in the shape of names scratched on the walls, such as "Spinola," "Hawkins, 1794," "Fiott," and many of a Jewish character. All of the passage ends were infested with bats, which rose in thousands when one of the party fired a pistol. Lichens grew here and there, and in one place arose a spring. There were signs of metallic substances in the rock, but not sufficient, thought Cockerell, to warrant the supposition that the place was a mine. The stone was sandy, stratified and easily cut, and the air was dry. The surface of the rock appeared to have been prepared with a chisel.

The passage was 8 or 10 feet wide, and from 4 to 10 feet high; in many places it had fallen in. Cockerell concluded that the excavation was probably made in the days of Minos as a storehouse for corn and valuables. He mentions that he was informed by natives that the cavern extended right through the mountain and was three miles in length; also that a sow once wandered in and emerged some years later with a litter of pigs!

About fifty years after Cockerell's visit, the cavern was explored by Capt. T. A. B. Spratt, R.N., who, in his "Travels and Researches in Crete" (1865), tells us that the Cretans "have long since walled and stopped up its inner and unknown extremes, so as not to be lost in its inner intricacies." He discusses the probable location of the traditional Labyrinth and concludes that probably

p. 28

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