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A Celtic maze is a straight-line spiral pattern drawn all over the world beginning in prehistory. The patterns originate in early Celtic developments in stone and metal-work, and later in medieval Insular art. Prehistoric spiral designs date back to Gavrinismarker (circa 3,500 BCE).

Celtic spiral tile pattern found in many locations including The Book of Kells
The straight-line spirals of Celtic labyrinths originated in chevrons and lozenges and are drawn by the Celts using a connect the dots method.

Classical labyrinth
Celtic labyrinths are found among carvings at Camonica Valleymarker, occupied by the Celts early in the first millennium, most older than the one Knossosmarker or Classical style example found there. The mythology associated with the labyrinths also suggest Celtic origin. For example, the labyrinths containing eyes or a figure with horns and a snake about its waist imply the deity Cernunnos. Lastly, Celtic examples resembling the Cretan model but featuring path-line reversal (the path of one is traceable as the line of the other) suggest Celtic pre-knowledge of their construction. Methods of constructing Classical labyrinths from figure with serpent through waist and ocular spiral may be demonstrated.

See also


  1. Meehan, Aidan (1993). Celtic Design: Maze Patterns, p.7 and 8. ISBN 0-500-27747-8.

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