Michael Ventris

(1922—1956) architect and classical scholar

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(1922–56) [Bi]

British scholar who, in 1952, deciphered the Linear B script found in Mycenaean and Minoan contexts, showing that it was an early form of Greek. An architect by profession, he became interested in the problem of Linear B after hearing a lecture by Sir Arthur Evans. During WW2 he served as a navigator in the Royal Air Force, but after the war he resumed his spare-time study of ancient scripts, collaborating with John Chadwick in Oxford. In 1953 he published his conclusions in the Journal of Hellenic Studies and they were greeted with acclaim. He was made an OBE in 1955, received an honorary degree from the University of Uppsala, and was made an Honorary Research Associate of University College, London. Tragically, he was killed in a road accident in September 1956.

From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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