I’ve been fascinated by the story of decipherment of Linear B, the language originally found by Authur Evans on Crete and eventually deciphered by the troubled amateur Michael Ventris, for years. It was a great puzzle — a sort of black box of a language. For many years scholars knew neither thecharacters (i.e. the signs) the language (i.e. the sounds) or the meaning. It appeared at first to undecipherable. But with years and years of false starts and hard work (much of it done by the heroine of this book, the largely un-sung Alice Kobler) it was eventually determined that the language is a form of Greek. The code was broken. What did the world get from solving this mystery? Largely lists of palace goods.
But it isn’t the prize, right? It’s the hunt.
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