For years, Linear B was seen as the Mount Everest of linguistic riddles.
First discovered on clay tablets at the palace of Knossos in Crete in 1900, it was an unknown script, writing an unknown language.
“It really was the linguistic equivalent of the locked room mystery in a detective novel,” says Margalit Fox, author of a new book on Linear B, The Riddle of the Labyrinth.
How do you ever find your way into a seemingly closed system like that? A solution took more than half a century to arrive.
In 1952, a young British architect, Michael Ventris, did discover the meaning of Linear B.