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A maze, a prison, a sacred precinct, a place of peace - for thousands of years the human mind has puzzled over the enigma of the labyrinth. This book traces the origins of the phenomenon. Archaeology dates it back to the Bronze Age, when simple seven-circuit models began to emerge in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Popular during Roman times, the labyrinth reached its peak during the medieval period, when elaborate eleven-circuit models appeared on the paved floors of churches and cathedrals across France and Italy, as well as in the fields of Britain and Germany. In recent years there has been a significant revival of interest in the labyrinth, and the author explores the question of why it should particularly appeal to us now. She looks at the many extraordinary ways in which labyrinths are being used today: as tools for meditation, as a means of connecting with the mysteries of nature, or simply as elegant puzzles for us to solve. The book concludes with an extensive gazetteer, indicating where the world's finest labyrinths can be found.
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About the Author

Virginia Westbury is an Australian-born journalist, television producer and lecturer whose work has appeared in leading magazines and newspapers around the world. Since 1997 she has been researching the origins and meanings of the labyrinth.

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