Ancient labyrinths ( World Travel )

Their meaning to this day remains a mystery.Labyrinths are common throughout the world as a unique image, or structures, and are common to all known cultures.


Cave paintings.These two labyrinths have been found not far from Tintagel kornuollskogo.Their grooves cut at the same angle, they say that they are carved with metal tools, probably in the XVI-XVII centuries ..


Labyrinth tombstone.This tombstone is set in the village of Alkboro in memory of the local landowners, to take care of the nearby medieval labyrinth Yulianova gazebo.

Play spirals and labyrinths among the most ancient creations of human hands, this is the first picture, depicting no event - hunting or battle scenes - and ideas.They appeared simultaneously in different parts of the world at large distances from each other, so that their appearance can not be explained mutual influence cultures.Labyrinths image relating to the same time have been found in North America, India and Sumatra, and also in Europe.

All peoples are associated with religious concepts of death and rebirth, and therefore took the basic place in the rituals, calling the spring fertility to replace the long winter the sun's death.Some inhabitants of the Early Bird southern Europe - cut image labyrinths on the stones of tombs and monuments.Others, such as the inhabitants of Scandinavia, built a labyrinth.Passages such labyrinths usually obkladyvali turf or boulders, and used in ritual dances during the spring solstice.

most famous labyrinth of the Western world - a labyrinth of King Minos of Crete, where the former, according to the myth, the Minotaur lived - poluchelovek-polubyk.The Athenian hero Theseus went through the maze and killed the Minotaur.Excavations of the palace of Knossos in Crete and found no trace of the maze.At the same time, were obtained clear evidence of the existence of the cult of the bull, the emblem of which served as a double-headed ax, or lahrys, from which the name may have occurred and the word "labyrinth".

The earliest ever being built labyrinths unknown.In the V century BC.e.Greek historian Herodotus wrote about the huge building in Fayyumskom oasis in Egypt, dating back to 1800 BC.e., perhaps Amenemhet III and known as the Labyrinth.Although this building was intended for entertainment and consisted of 12 yards and a variety of rooms that were connected by winding corridors, it seems unlikely that it was indeed intended as a maze.

One of the oldest images of the labyrinth in the north of Europe, relating to approximately 2500 BC.e., is a triple spiral carved on the inner wall of the burial of New Grange in the Irish county of Meath.

Since the end of the XII century labyrinths began to appear in European churches on the church floor tiles.Such patterns are found in many cathedrals of medieval France, including in the cities of Bayeux, Amiens, Chartres, and San.In Christian churches outdoor image labyrinths have become an integral part of penance, when the repentant sinner had to go on my knees all the twists and turns of the maze.This penance was imposed on those who could not make the pilgrimage to the holy places, and was called "the road to Jerusalem."

labyrinths were used in folk rituals rooted in pagan fertility rites.In England, lined with turf labyrinths, such as a gazebo in Yulianova Alkboro, used during the Easter and May festivals.The chain of young men and women at first swirled toward the center, and then untwisted again, these dances were popular almost to the middle of the XIX century.

Starting from the XVI century in Europe, a wave of enthusiasm garden maze.Walls labyrinths were high hedges.Today, the world's largest maze, first opened in 1978, is located in Longleat House, Wiltshire.