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News: The decipherment of Linear B
Michael Ventris maps out a table of signs that would aid him in deciphering Linear B. Drawing on the work of the scholars E.L. Bennett, Jr., and A. Kober, Ventris was able to prove that Linear B was used to record the Greek language. Photo credit:Tom Blau/Camera Press
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Dear Bennett…

The exciting Michael Ventris’ correspondence is available online

Back in 2007, the University of Texas Libraries staff digitized and transcribed many of Michael Ventris’ letters held in the archives at the Program of Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP). They were never fully released and archived onto tape.

This summer (2013) Dygo Tosa, Research Assistant at the PASP contacted the University of Texas Libraries staff to see if they still had the files. Colleen Lyon, the Digital Repository Librarian, contacted Wendy Martin in Digitization Services, who managed to restore the six-year-old data from tape. Thanks to UT Libraries, Dygo Tosa was able to compile 59 documents from 129 high resolution images and submit them to the UT Digital Repository.

The Michael Ventris Correspondence Collection mainly contains correspondence between Michael Ventris and Alice E. Kober (until her untimely death in 1950) and Emmett L. Bennett from 1948 through 1955. In these letters we see these great minds grappling with Linear B and its decipherment. We see their humor, their acuity, and the way Linear B brought them together in conquering a common challenge, as Dygo Tosa writes.

The Michael Ventris Correspondence Collection is available here.

1. Program of Aegean Scripts and Prehistory / Dygo Tosa, Research Assistant - PASP