Video-Fix: The Race to Decode a Mysterious Language


In around 1900, British Archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans excavated tablets with an unknown script at Knossos, on the island of Crete. The script was dubbed ‘Linear B’. Its discovery sparked a race to decipher the script, with multiple people dedicating decades of their lives to decoding the mysterious language of Linear B.

Evans himself spent 30 years trying to decode the script. US American Classics Lecturer Alice Kober spent 20 years on the script, until her premature death at the age of 43 in 1950. But it was architect Michael Ventris, who had an amateur passion for ancient languages, who finally unravelled Linear B in the early 1950s.

But what did he decipher? Was Linear B Minoan? Etruscan? A form of Basque?

Find out here: