On this day in 1952, 65 years ago, Michael Ventris made the announcement that he had deciphered Mycenaean Linear B. Against all expectations, he had discovered that these Late Bronze Age documents were written in Greek – making them some 400 years earlier than any other known Greek inscriptions.
The announcement was made on the radio, and luckily the recording still survives. You can hear it HERE in a post made by the BBC a few years ago.
You can read more about the decipherment process HERE in a resource made available by the Cambridge Mycenaean Epigraphy Group.
4 thoughts on “Happy Linear B Day!”
Yes indeed !. And I am currently studying Linear B. Such a fascinating subject. Thanks to Michael Ventris cracking the code in the first place.
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Hi Rita, You might be interested in Margalit Fox, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code and the Uncovering of a Lost Civilisation, which reveals how much of the work of decipherment had already been done by the little-remembered American classicist, Alice Kober, who died only in 1950. A fascinating read, which goes into much detail on the decipherment process itself.