Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


26 January 2013

New light on the Labyrinth Fresco from the Palace at Knossos

Maria C. Shaw Annual of the British School at Athens 107 (2012): 143-159.


Considered here is the ‘Labyrinth Fresco’ (or ‘Maze Fresco’), fragments of which were found by Sir Arthur Evans in the Minoan palace at Knossos. Interestingly, the pattern was rendered through engraving, with the exclusively red colour used applied within the grooves. Oddly, this design is very similar to one shown as a patterned floor in a recently excavated wall painting discovered by the Austrian excavator Manfred Bietak, at Tell el Dab’a, in the Nile Delta area of Egypt, where it depicts an arena used for bull leaping. The present article therefore raises the question of whether the ‘Labyrinth Fresco’ from Knossos was actually decoration on a patterned plaster floor rather than a wall, and could have acted as the model for the one depicted in the Tell el Dab’a painting. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the Tell el Dab’a painters were Greek expatriate artists – a matter that prompts questions about actual international contacts between the Aegean and Egypt in the mid-second millennium bc The paintings in Egypt clearly imply travelling Aegean artists, though further and more formal contacts probably also existed between the two countries.


Παρακαλούμε τα σχόλιά σας να είναι στα Ελληνικά (πάντα με ελληνικούς χαρακτήρες) ή στα Αγγλικά. Αποφύγετε τα κεφαλαία γράμματα. Ο Αιγεύς διατηρεί το δικαίωμα να διαγράφει εκτός θέματος, προσβλητικά, ανώνυμα σχόλια ή κείμενα σε greeklish.