Herodotus (fifth century B.C.) and other Greek and Roman writers described a magnificent labyrinth in Egypt, containing three thousand rooms on two levels. Pliny the Elder (first century A.D.) related that the Egyptian labyrinth was already 3600 years old in his time. Since the nineteenth century, the Egyptian labyrinth has been identified with an area on the southern side of the Middle Kingdom pyramid of Amenemhet III (circa 1845 B.C.) at Hawara in the Fayoum District.
“The Labyrinth has 12 covered courts -six in a row facing north, six south. Inside, the building is of two stories and contains 3,000 rooms, of which half are underground, and the other half directly above them. I was taken through the rooms in the upper story, so what I shall say of them is from my own observation, but the underground ones I can speak of only from report, because the Egyptians in charge refused to let me see them, as they contain the tombs of the kings who built the Labyrinth and also the tombs of the sacred crocodiles. The upper rooms, on the contrary I did actually see, and it is hard to believe that they are the work of men; the baffling and intricate passages from room to room and from court to court were an endless wonder to me, as we passed from a courtyard into rooms, from rooms into galleries, from galleries into more rooms, and thence into yet more courtyards. The roof of every chamber, courtyard and gallery is, like the walls, of stone. The walls are covered with carved figures, and each court is exquisitely built of white marble and surrounded by a colonnade.” He went on to say “It is beyond my powerto describe. It must have cost more in labor and money than all public works of the Greeks put together – though no one would deny that the temples of Ephesus and Samos are remarkable buildings. The Pyramids too are astonishing structures, each one of them equal to many of the most ambitious works of Greece; but the Labyrinth surpasses them.”
In 2008 the ‘Mataha Expedition’ discovered amazing proof of the Labyrinth’s existence. Using GPS instruments, the team found “the presence of a colossal archaeological feature below the labyrinth ‘foundation’ zone of Petrie’s record, which has to be reconsidered as the roof of the still existing labyrinth.”
“Should this discovery become substantiated as Herodotus famed ‘Labyrinth’, (and the roof rather than the base), then it will rank alongside other great discoveries of our times, and will become another architectural jewel in Egypt’s crown.”
The Mataha Expedition Video: