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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 3563 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2009, 01:28:27 pm »

much earlier date than this, one example, though of simpler charmer, having been found in the older palace, and others, either snake-like or of a squarish nature, on ivory seals unearthed at other Minoan sites (Zakro and Hagia Triada). Similar designs exist on certain Egyptian "button-seals" of an approximately contemporary period--from the VIth Dynasty onwards--and Sir Arthur Evans has expressed the opinion that these will possibly prove to constitute the source of the Labyrinth in Art. Figs. 15, 16, 17, 18 show



FIG. 19.--Early Egyptian Plaque or Amulet.
(Prof. Petrie's Collection, University College, London.)
specimens of early Egyptian seals and plaques of this character in the British Museum. Professor Flinders Petrie very kindly drew the writer's attention to a steatite plaque in his collection at University College, London, which is somewhat similar to one of those mentioned above, but of rather more elaborate design (Fig. 19). The labyrinthine pattern on this is surmounted by a representation, in the peculiar "linear" fashion often adopted by early Egyptian artists, of two seated human figures facing one another, the knees being drawn up. Professor Petrie acquired the plaque at Memphis. He considers that it dates from a period round about 3000 B.C., and points out that if the broken lines be completed there would appear to be five false turns to be avoided before reaching the centre.

In discussing the designs on these seals and plaques, Sir A. Evans alludes to a possible connection with two of the hieroglyphs of the period, which are of the nature of simple square meanders of a kind extensively employed in ancient ornament. One of them (mer) is the sign used for indicating irrigated land. The other (aha)

p. 44

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