А 2000 Year old Labyrinth in India

The clay tablet from Pilos. Javarman3/iStock
The clay tablet from Pilos. Javarman3/iStock

Archeologists have discovered a 2000-year old labyrinth in India, which closely resembles the labyrinth drawn on top of a clay tablet, found in Pilos (Greece) 3200 thousand years ago.

The square labyrinth can be found in Gedimedu, South Indiaa and has an area of 17 square meters. The labyrinth was discovered by a team of researchers from the Verarajendran Archaeological and Historical Research Centre, Tirupur. The place of excavation was an ancient merchant’s road on the east coast.

Locals have built a temple on top of the labyrinth, but archeologists will demand to be removed so the excavations can continue.

S. Ravikumar, leader of the research team, provides the following for Times of India:

“There is only one path in the labyrinth which can lead to the exit. It has been said that all the wishes of the One who figures out the correct path, shall be granted. The width of the paths varies from 79 centimeters to a meter. The entrance faces east. The model is the same as the one on the clay tablet in Pilos – one of the oldest labyrinths, illustrated on clay.”

The clay tablet has survived a fire in the Mexican palace around 3200 years ago. This is quite an important artifact, although it was probably a creation of some clerk who had just been doodling, because the main use of those clay tablets was to account for goat deliveries (the front side of the tablet).

Greeks under the rule of Alexander the Great attacked India a few centuries after the tablet had been created. The symbol of the labyrinth had spread through the centuries all the way to Egypt, and other countries as well.

The clay tablet from Pilos can be associated with Troy. It was found near the traditional home of King Nestor, (when he was not off to battle), who had helped with the siege and obliteration of the city of Troy. The victory over the city is usually said to be in the year 1250 B.C.

In the ancient world, the different meanings of the labyrinth are complicated and diverse. In some Asian cultures, the labyrinth is believed to be related to the “escape from Samsara and the laws of karma. “ Samsara means the human life cycle – birth, death, reincarnation. To escape from Samsara means to possess Devine inspiration and reach the Heavens.

According to the illustrated encyclopedia for traditional symbols, written by J. Cooper, the labyrinth is also related to the enchanted forests, the movement of the Sun, rituals for passage from profane to sacral, and “the journey of life through hardship and illusion.”

Labyrinths were also used when homes were constructed in order to confuse and delude evil energies and spirits.