Cretan Maze

Wrapped in legend, but also clearly manifested in the archaeological record, is the huge Bronze Age labyrinth at Knossos. As Hogan notes, the importance of the labyrinth to the identity of Knossos is amplified by the recurrence of the double-axe (or labrys) symbol in various artworks and architectural embellishments at the Knossos palace complex. That the Cretan labyrinth had been a dancing-ground and was made for Ariadne rather than for Minos was remembered by Homer in Iliad xviii.590–593, where, in the pattern that Hephaestus inscribed on Achilles' shield, one incident pictured was a dancing-ground "like the one that Daedalus designed in the spacious town of Knossos for Ariadne of the lovely locks." Even the labyrinth dance was depicted on the shield, where "youths and marriageable maidens were dancing on it with their hands on one another's wrists… circling as smoothly on their accomplished feet as the wheel of a potter…and there they ran in lines to meet each other."

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