Jeremy Baker

Jeremy Baker

Deciphering Linear B

Really enjoying reading three related books at once:

- The Decipherment of Linear B by John Chadwick 📚
- The Man Who Deciphered Linear B by Andrew Robinson 📚
- Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox 📚

The first was published in 1958, by an academic who worked with Michael Ventris, the eccentric architect who deciphered the ancient Greek (as it turned out) script found at Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae. The second was published in 2002 by Andrew Robinson who has written numerous books about the history of language; and focuses on Michael Ventris. The last was published in 2014, and covers three individuals who played key roles in the discovery and decipherment - Arthur Evans, Alice Kober who systematised the analysis of the script, and Ventris who completed the work after her death.

It is fascinating to read all three together. All have a slightly different story and perspective. Only the most recent tells the wider story of both discovery and decipherment. It fully acknowledges that decipherment was the work of many hands, including those of Alice Kober, who if she had not died so young, may have succeeded before Ventris.