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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 8054 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2009, 03:16:09 pm »

and just to the south of the pyramid of Hawara, in the district known nowadays as the Fayűm.

The mummified remains of the builder of the Labyrinth, King Amenemhat III, and of his daughter Sebekneferu, have been discovered in this pyramid, which is symmetrical about the same N.--S. meridian as the Labyrinth.

Professor Petrie reviewed all that the classic writers had reported concerning the Labyrinth, and concluded that, in spite of their differences, each had contributed some item of value. The discrepancies between the descriptions of Herodotus and Strabo he attributes to the probable decay or destruction of the upper storey in the intervening centuries.

Many attempts have been made to visualise the Labyrinth as it existed in the time of Herodotus. Fig. 3 shows, in plan, one such reconstruction, according to the Italian archaeologist Canina. The actual plan of the Labyrinth would appear to have differed from this in many respects, judging by the indications found by Professor Petrie. The latter drew up a tentative restoration based upon the descriptions of Herodotus and Strabo so far as these tallied with the remains discovered by him.

He suggests that the shrines which he found formed part of a series of nine, ranged along the foot of the pyramid, each attached to a columned court, the whole series of courts opening opposite a series of twenty-seven columns arranged down the length of a great hall running east and west; on the other side of this hall would be another series of columned courts, six in number and larger than the others, separated by another long hall from a further series of six (Fig. 4).

In spite of the scantiness of the present remains and the discrepancies between the various reports that have reached us from ancient times, we can at least be reasonably certain that this, the earliest structure to which the term "labyrinth" (λαβύρινθος) is known to have been applied, did actually exist; that it was of the nature of a

p. 15

stupendous architectural monument, that it is of great antiquity--having been built over 4000 years ago at any rate--and that its site is definitely known.

Its original object is still a matter of conjecture. It is quite possible that it was used as a meeting-place for the

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 03:16:37 pm by Kabrina Teppe » Report Spam   Logged
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