“From the beginning the meander was not only an ornament;
it was a symbol, a metaphor for water.”
Marija Gimbutas, Archeologist (1921-1994)
The Meandering Menderes
Like with many things we’re influenced by the everyday, and the beautiful elements of the natural world. The Meander motif or Greek Key was inspired by the twisting and turning Meander River, which is now called the Büyük Menderes River and resides in Turkey.
More ancient than ancient Greece
Most people affiliate the Greek Key with Greece (hence the name of course). But it’s actually much older than that. The oldest found examples of meander patterns are from Mezin (Ukraine) and date about 23,000 B.C. These patterns are fairly simple and have been found through the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Prehistoric examples seem to have developed independently in Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. We really are all connected. It’s really incredible how the human mind works. Perhaps it’s the way our consciousness evolves, we’re all on the same or similar journey as a species together.
This ancient geometric shape transcends time. It represents infinity, water, and the energy and constant flow and movement of life. The key in an unbroken line shows the symbolism of infinity by allowing itself to be repeated over and over again without breaking. A single Meander geometric has four corners, sometimes it stands for the four cardinal points (north, south, east, and west), or the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter). It also signifies the bonds of love, friendship, devotion. The traditional Greek key or spiral Meander shape represents waves and water.
Inspiration Board for the Meander Collection (Click on the image)