Celtic maze

A Celtic maze is a straight-line spiral pattern drawn all over the world beginning in prehistory and associated with double axes (labrys = double axes, labyrinth = place of the double axes). The term Celtic maze originates in their development in Celtic manuscripts, stone, and metal-work beginning in 650 CE and their close relationship with spirals, or labyrinths, in form and meaning. The first Celtic spiral patterns date back to Gavrinis (circa 3,500 BCE).

The straight-line spirals of Celtic labyrinths originated in chevrons and lozenges and are drawn by the Celts using a connect the dots method.

Celtic labyrinths are found among carvings at Camonica Valley, occupied by the Celts early in the first millennium, most older than the one Knossos or Classical style example found there. The mythology associated with the labyrinths also suggest Celtic origin. For example, the labyrinths containing eyes or a figured with horns and a snake about it's waist imply the deity Cernunnos. Lastly, Celtic examples resembling the Cretan model but featuring path-line reversal (the path of one is traceable as the line of the other) suggest Celtic pre-knowledge of their construction. Methods of constructing Classical labyrinths from figure with serpent through waist and ocular spiral may be demonstrated.

See also

  • Celtic knot
  • Maze, whose technical definition does not include "Celtic mazes"


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