The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code

By Margalit Fox

In the culture of Simon Winchester and Dava Sobel, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: the hunt to Crack an historic Code tells probably the most exciting tales within the historical past of language, masterfully mixing background, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.
When famed archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of a cosmopolitan Bronze Age civilization that flowered on Crete 1,000 years earlier than Greece’s Classical Age, he chanced on a cache of historic capsules, Europe’s earliest written documents. For part a century, the which means of the inscriptions, or even the language within which they have been written, may stay a mystery.
Award-winning New York Times journalist Margalit Fox's riveting real-life highbrow detective tale travels from the Bronze Age Aegean—the period of Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Helen—to the flip of the twentieth century and the paintings of charismatic English archeologist Arthur Evans, to the colourful own tales of the decipherers. those comprise Michael Ventris, the bright beginner who deciphered the script yet met with a surprising, mysterious loss of life that could were an instantaneous end result of the deipherment; and Alice Kober, the unsung heroine of the tale whose painstaking paintings allowed Ventris to crack the code.

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Right!! ”: Kober’s margin notes in, respectively, WTMF to AEK, Oct. 19, 1945, and April 2, 1946; AEK Papers, PASP. “I could be very to hear”: MV to AEK, March 26, 1948, MV Papers, PASP. a trust he had first made public: M. G. F. Ventris, “Introducing the Minoan Language,” American magazine of Archaeology 44:4 (1940), 494–520. a hundred and sixty “At the instant I’m engaged”: MV to AEK, n. d. , yet demonstrably earlier than could 23, 1948, MV Papers, PASP. “Rivalry has no position in real scholarship”: AEK to ELB, Feb. 12, 1949, ELB Papers, PASP. “Please ship me FAST”: JFD to AEK, Dec. three, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. 161 “I am certainly astonished”: Franklin Edgerton to AEK, Dec. five, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. “Everybody tells me this job”: AEK to JFD, Dec. 6, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. 162 Sir John Myres sought after her to aid foyer: See, e. g. , AEK to JLM, Oct. 21, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. “First type. Ouch! ”: AEK to JFD, April 24, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. “Six months is plentiful time”: AEK to JFD, Sept. 18, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. Myres could outlive her: Myres died on March 6, 1954. 163 “The simple contrast among truth and theory”: Kober (1948b), eighty two. 164 Its use in archaeological decipherment dates: Pope (1975), 163. “was the belief of making this sort of grid”: Ibid. ; italics extra. 166 “People usually say”: Ibid. , 102. 167 “Let us face the facts”: Ibid. , 102–3. a “slight setback”: JFD to AEK, Dec. 19, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP, for citation; AEK to JFD, Dec. 21, 1947, for its having been a special-delivery letter. “You aren't any. 2”: JFD to AEK, Dec. 19, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. 168 “Don’t you're thinking that many of the opposition”: AEK to JFD, Dec. 21, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. “The incontrovertible fact that you're a woman”: JFD to AEK, Dec. 24, 1947, AEK Papers, PASP. “weak, lazy, and impressionable”: Ibid. 169 “I am no longer being unduly bitter”: Ibid. the genus professoricus [sic]: the proper shape is “genus professoricum. ” “I am proscribing my activities”: JFD to AEK, Feb. 14, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. “I have undesirable news”: JFD to AEK, may possibly four, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. “Well, it used to be enjoyable whereas it lasted”: AEK to JFD, might 6, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. Penn desired to move forward: JFD to AEK, June 2, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. she used to be named a study affiliate: Mrs. William S. Godfrey, Penn collage Museum secretary, to AEK, July eight, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. one hundred seventy a “mutual relief society”: AEK to JFD, July 1, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. “If it really works as we hope”: AEK to HAM, July 17, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. on the best of the visitor checklist: AEK to JFD, July 1, 1948, AEK Papers, PASP. the 2 males had began corresponding: Robinson (2002), forty four. 171 Even his daily handwriting: Postcard from MV to JLM, Jan. 19, 1954, MV Papers, PASP. “Mr. Ventris might don't have any trouble”: AEK to JLM, July eight, 1948. Quoted in Thomas G. Palaima, Elizabeth I. Pope, and F. Kent Reilly III, Unlocking the secrets and techniques of old Writing: The Parallel Lives of Michael Ventris and Linda Schele and the Decipherment of Mycenaean and Mayan Writing, exhibition catalogue, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American assortment, college of Texas (Austin: software in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory, 2000).

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