from the something-to-write-home-about dept.
The Minoan language known as "Linear A" may finally be deciphered with the help of the internet which can be used to uncover previously-hidden links to the much-better understood Linear B language. Linear B developed later in the prehistoric period.
The puzzle of Linear A has tormented linguists for many decades, as they attempted to link it somehow to Linear B, which was translated successfully for the first time in the 1950s. Linear B was used on the Greek mainland and Crete 50-150 years later than Linear A.
Understanding the link between them and decoding the secrets of Linear A would allow experts to paint a much more complete picture of Minoan civilization going back as far as 1,800 BC.
Linear A, which was used by the Minoans during the Bronze Age, exists on at least 1,400 known inscriptions made on clay tablets. The language has baffled the world's top archaeologists and linguistic experts for many years.
Professor Tim Whitmarsh, the A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture and Fellow of St. John's, had high praise for Salgarella's work and said that "cracking Linear B was a huge post-war triumph for Classics, but Linear A has remained elusive."
"Dr. Salgarella has demonstrated that Linear B is closely related to its mysterious and previously illegible predecessor. She has brought us one step closer to understanding it. It's an extraordinary piece of detective work," praises Whitmarsh.