Archeologists discover 4000-year-old labyrinth referenced in Greek mythology

Archaeologists in Crete have discovered a 4000-year-old labyrinth in the home of the “minotaur” in Greek mythology.

Stories of Greek mythology have been around for several millennia, with references to the tales having been found in imagery recently uncovered in Pompeii after almost 2,000 years.

In one of the most well-known tales, the Greek island of Crete was the site of a mythical battle between Theseus and the half-human, half-bull beast, the Minotaur, which lived in a labyrinth. And, it is where archaeologists have just unearthed a labyrinthine structure.

The discovery was made on the highest point of Papoura Hill in Crete and is considered as unusual, being the first structure of its kind to have been found there.

According to the Greek Ministry of Culture, the structure is believed to have been constructed by the Minoan civilisation between 2000 and 1700 BCE. It is 48 metres in diameter and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

It consists of eight concentric circular stone walls that have been purposefully laid there, with the maximum surviving height of the stone reaching 1.7 metres.

archeologists discover 4000-year-old labyrinth referenced in greek mythology

(Ministry of Culture)

The labyrinth is sectioned into four, with internal walls that divide it into quadrants connected by small openings that create passageways.

Archaeologists suggest the structure has a small circular building on the inside that is also divided into quadrants. But, the entire layout and the building’s original height remain a mystery.

Due to the spread of animal bones left, experts believe the labyrinth-type structure could have been used for ceremonial purposes, such as rituals and offerings.

While the structure is an extremely rare find, it is not thought to be linked to the story of the Minotaur and Theseus.

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