The word labyrinth comes from the Greek labyrinthos and describes any maze-like structure with a single path through it which differentiates it from an actual maze which may have multiple paths intricately linked. Etymologically the word is linked to the Minoan labrys or 'double axe', the symbol of the Minoan mother goddess of Crete, although the actual word is Lydian in origin and most likely came to Crete from Anatolia (Asia Minor) through trade.

More about: Labyrinth


  • c. 3500 BCE
    Gavrinis monument with labyrinthine motif constructed in Brittany.
  • c. 3200 BCE
    Newgrange constructed in Ireland with labyrinthine swirl designs.
  • c. 2600 BCE - c. 1100 BCE
    The Minoan Period on Crete; Labyrinth of Knossos constructed during latter part.
  • c. 1860 BCE - 1815 BCE
    Reign of Amenemhet III in Egypt; Labyrinth at Hawara constructed.
  • c. 1500 BCE
    Rigveda texts with labyrinthine structure created in India.
  • c. 580 BCE
    Tomb of Etruscan King Lars Porsena labyrinth constructed in Italy.
  • c. 500 BCE
    Labyrinths of the Island of Bolshoi Zayatsky constructed in Russia.