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v1.08 preface
v1.08 cover
v1.08 contents


The Celtic Art Coracle Volume 1 Issue 8

So the conclusion might be that at Val Camonica we can trace the evolution of the Labyrinth from very crude beginnings until the Romans came and introduced the Greek, or more precisely, Cretan style of maze. That the petroglyphs start about 3000 BCE, and that includes the maze with the bird and the archer. And any early resemblance to the classical maze in the Neolithic doodles is just chance, or at best evidence of some powerful unconscious drive.

The alternative viewpoint which I propose is that although the maze dated 300 B.C. is indeed a a dead ringer for the Cretan coin, it has more in common with its predecessor with the Neolithic eyes; the black line varies in width, and there are breaks joining adjacent coils, not naturally formed. But most important of all, they are structurally identical, as basic mazes, except that the one is the path carving, and the other is the line cut. You must satisfy yourself on this point, but I am convinced. So either we must bring all the mazes into the sphere of Roman history, or at least update them to after the date of the earliest 'Cretan' maze, that found on the backside of a tile off a roof, a craftsman's secret mark, at Pylos, near Navarino in southern Greece, which Janet Bord presents as very likely the earliest extant, c. 1200 BCE

Let us take another look at 'the others' on page 121 above. First the spiral with the eyes. Actually it is an obvious visual pun for the path of the 'Greek influenced' maze. Only in reverse direction.

There in Neolithic terms is how to construct a basic maze. Later it will become more regular, but the structure is identical to the standard of Crete. This construction applies equally to either Val Camonica maze. I think the method was subsequently lost. Not surprisingly so, as no doubt it was a test, and those who passed it would have truthfully claimed they had slain the great serpent by piercing its head with their staffs, and leave it to those who care to take the trouble to work out the secret themselves.


Art: copyright Aidan Meehan 1983

The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved

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