Mazes and Labyriths, by W. H. Matthews, , at sacred-texts.com
ADVANTAGES out of all proportion to the importance of the immediate aim in view are apt to accrue whenever an honest endeavour is made to find an answer to one of those awkward questions which are constantly arising from the natural working of a child's mind. It was an endeavour of this kind which formed the nucleus of the inquiries resulting in the following little essay.
It is true that the effort in this case has not led to complete success in so far as that word denotes the formulation of an exact answer to the original question, which, being one of a number evoked by parental experiments in seaside sand-maze construction, was: "Father, who made mazes first of all?" On the other hand, one hesitates to apply so harsh a term as "failure" when bearing in mind the many delightful excursions, rural as well as literary, which have been involved and the alluring vistas of possible future research that have been opened up from time to time in the course of such excursions.
By no means the least of the adventitious benefits enjoyed by the explorer has been the acquisition of a keener sense of appreciation of the labours of the archaeologist, the anthropologist, and other, more special, types of investigator, any one of whom would naturally be far better qualified to discuss the theme under consideration—at any rate from the standpoint of his particular branch of learning—than the present author can hope to be.
The special thanks of the writer are due to Professor W. M. Flinders Petrie for permission to make use of his diagram of the conjectural restoration of the
[paragraph continues] Labyrinth of Egypt, Fig. 4, and the view of the shrine of Amenemhat III, Fig. 2, also for facilities to sketch the Egyptian plaque in his collection which is shown in Fig. 19 and for drawing the writer's attention thereto; to Sir Arthur Evans for the use of his illustrations of double axes and of the Tomb of the Double Axe which appear as Figs. 9, 10, 11 and 12 respectively (Fig. 8 is also based on one of his drawings); to M. Picard (of the Librairie A. Picard) for leave to reproduce the drawing of the Susa mosaic, Fig. 37; to Mr. J. H. Craw, F.S.A. (Scot.), Secretary of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, for the use of the illustrations of sculptured rocks, Figs. 128 and 129; to the Rev. E. A. Irons for the photograph of the Wing maze, Fig. 60, and to the Rev. G. Yorke for the figure of the Alkborough "Julian's Bower," Fig. 59.
The many kind-hearted persons who have earned the gratitude of the writer by acceding to his requests for local information, or by bringing useful references to his notice, will perhaps take no offence if he thanks them collectively, though very heartily, in this place. In most cases where they are not mentioned individually in the text they will be found quoted as authorities in the bibliographical appendix. The present is, however, the most fitting place in which to express a cordial acknowledgment of the assistance rendered by the writer's friend, Mr. G. F. Green, whose skill and experience in the photographic art has been of very great value.
Grateful recognition must also be made of the help and courtesy extended to the writer by the officials of several libraries, museums, and other institutions, notably the British Museum, the Society of Antiquaries, Sion College, and the Royal Horticultural Society.
W. H. M.