Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources

Linear B

- 14th - 13th century BC

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. BSA (The British School at Athens)
    Founded in 1886, it promotes studies and research on different aspects of Greek culture. It organizes and finances excavations (among others, Knossos, and Palaikastro on Crete), congresses, seminars and conferences. It has a very well-furnished library and an important laboratory for archeological analysis.
  2. ASCSA (The American School of Classical Studies at Athens)
    Founded in 1881, it promotes study and research on different aspects of Greek culture. It organizes and finances digs excavations, congresses, seminars and conferences. It has a very well-furnished library and an important laboratory for archeometric analysis.
  3. SAIA (Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene)
    Founded in 1909, it promotes study and research on different aspects of Greek culture. It organizes and finances digs (many of them on Crete), congresses, seminars and conferences. It houses an important school for post graduate and specialization studies in archeology and epigraphy. It has a large library.
  4. PRAP (Pylos Regional Archaeological Project)
    The site publishes the results of the archeological expeditions conducted by the University of Cincinnati in collaboration with other universities in the area of the Mycenaean Palace of Pylos.
  5. INSTAP (Institute for Aegean Prehistory)
    Cretan offices of the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, founded in Philadelphia in 1982. Base for American archeological missions in Crete, it also houses researchers from other countries working on the prehistory and protohistory of the island.
  6. EfA (Ecole française d'Athènes)
    Founded in 1846, it promotes study and research on different aspects of Greek culture. It organizes and finances congresses, seminars and conferences. It has a large library.
  7. Linear-B Art
    Works of art by Nikos Samartzidis inspired by Linear B.

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. PASP (Austin, TX, USA)
    Research center located in Austin, Texas, founded in 1986, it conducts research on the Cretan scripts of Bronze Age (Cretan Hieroglyphics, Linear A and Linear B) and on the syllabic writing systems of Cyprus (Cypro-Minoan and Classical Cypriot).
  2. ISPC (Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale - CNR)
    Research institute of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) whose mission is to pursue scientific excellence and encourage innovation in knowledge, conservation and use of cultural heritage. Researchers at the institute include specialists in the fields of Aegean, Anatolian and Ancient Near Eastern epigraphy.
  3. Mycenaean Epigraphy Group (Cambridge, UK)
    Research center for Mycenaean texts at the University of Cambridge, founded in 1956 by John Chadwick. It has a library specialized in Linear B studies (Mycenaean Epigraphy Room), and all the Ventris-Chadwick correspondence.
  4. CREWS project (Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems)
    Project funded by the European Research Council and based in Cambridge. The aim of the project is to develop new methodologies for the study of writing systems and their social and material contexts. Case studies include Bronze Age Aegean and Cypriot scripts and their mutual relationships.
  5. INSCRIBE (Invention of Scripts and Their Beginnings)
    Project funded by the European Research Council and based in Bologna. The project addresses the theme of the invention of writing from a comparative perspective. Among the scripts studied are the Aegean and Cypriot Bronze Age scripts.
  6. Mykenische Studien
    Mycenological publications of the Austrian Institute of Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna).

Academic materials

  1. Linear B - Wikipedia
    Wikipedia page about Linear B script with detailed information about the type of script, the corpora available, the chronology of the documents and the protagonists of the decipherment. The Unicode tables of syllabograms and logograms are useful.
  2. Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean
    Introductory course to the archeology of Aegean prehistory and protohistory, ed. by J. B. Rutter (Dartmouth College, New Hampshire), containing numerous illustrations. Lesson 25 is entirely dedicated to texts in Linear B and to their usefulness in the reconstruction of Mycenaean world.


  1. Linearb10.ttf
    Font designed by Curtis Clark, with the syllabograms of Linear B. Free for personal use.
  2. Code2001.ttf
    Unicode Font designed by James Kass, with the syllabograms and logograms of Linear B. Freely downloadable for personal use.
  3. Alphabetum.ttf
    Unicode Font designed by Juan José Marcos, with the syllabograms and logograms of Linear B. Shareware.
  4. Aegean
    Unicode Font by George Douros with the syllabograms and logograms of Linear B.
  5. Font Noto Linear B
    Unicode font with all Linear B signs published under the SIL Open Font license.

Museums and collections

  1. Archeological Museum of Thebes (Boeotia)
    Holds the Linear B texts from Thebes, the third Mycenaean site for number of Linear B documents.
  2. National Archeological Museum, Athens
    The largest archeological museum of Greece. It holds the Linear B texts from Pylos and Mycenae.
  3. Museum of Herakleion (Crete)
    One of the most important museums of Europe. Its storerooms house the Linear B documents from Knossos.

Collections of texts and digital libraries

  1. Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici
    Volumes 39-54 + New series.
  2. Minos. Revista de filologia egea
    Volumes 1-14, 18, 25, 35-39 of Minos.
  3. Grammatik des mykenischen Griechisch
    Mycenaean Greek grammar by E. Risch (updated and completed by I. Hajnal, University of Innsbruck). It is a "work in progress". At the moment the general Introduction, the Phonology and the Bibliography are available; the Morphology and the Syntax are in preparation.
  4. Scripta minoa (Band 2): The archives of Knossos: clay tablets inscribed in linear script B
    On-line version of the monograph by A. Evans, Scripta Minoa II (Oxford 1954 [posthumous edition by J. Myres]) on Linear B (edited by Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg). It contains the photographs and the facsimile images of most of the Linear B Knossos tablets.
  5. LiBER (Linear B Electronic Resources)
    LiBER (Linear B Electronic Resources) is a CNR project which aims at producing an integrated database of Linear B documents, with the ultimate goal of providing an updated edition of the existing Linear B documents along with a new set of search tools. Individual texts are supplied with transcriptions, notes and photographs, as well as, whenever possible, with all the relevant information about findspots, scribes, chronologies, inventory numbers and places of preservation. The database can be searched by series of documents, syllabic sequences, logograms, scribes and findspots, while search results can be displayed both as lists of texts and interactive maps. At the present stage, the database contains the Linear B documents from Knossos, Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea.
  6. Diccionario Micénico
    Site of the Diccionario Micenico (Appendix of the Diccionario Griego-Español), ed. Fr. Aura Jorro (University of Alicante, Spain). Contains a Direct Index and an Inverse Index of the syllabic sequences and an Index of the logograms of Linear B.
  7. DĀMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo
    This project aims at creating a complete, annotated and searchable corpus of the texts written in Linear B.
  8. CaLiBRA
    Searchable database of photographs of the Linear B tablets from Pylos.
  9. Alice Kober Archive (PASP)
    The materials of Alice E. Kober representing her research in support of the decipherment of Linear B. The collection includes correspondence, scholarly publications, statistical charts, and thousands of hand-written slips of paper cut to size and arranged in cigarette carton files.
  10. Linear B Explorer
    Website with photos and drawings of a number of Linear B inscriptions. For each inscription, the transcription, the find place and the scribal hand are given. The site allows the selection of inscriptions according to words and logograms.
  11. Linear B Lexicon
    The site contains a long list of Mycenaean terms with their transcriptions and possible meanings.
  12. The Mycenaean Greek vocabulary
    PDF copy of the article published in "Glotta" 1963 by John Chadwick and Lydia Baumbach. The article presents a list of Greek alphabetical words corresponding to Mycenaean terms.
  13. The archaeological ideograms of Linear B
    Book with Linear B ideograms having archaeological correspondences (weapons, chariots, ingots, scales, furniture, vases, etc.).
  14. PA-I-TO project
    Website of the "PA-I-TO project" directed by A. Greco (Sapienza, University of Rome) with the collaboration of G. Flouda (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion) and E. Notti (IULM, Milan). The site offers the RTI photographs of the Linear B documents with the toponym pa-i-to (Phaistos) and the corresponding ethnic adjectives.


  1. Michael Ventris (1922-1956)
    Brief biography of Michael Ventris.
  2. Michael Ventris (1922-1956) archives (PASP, Austin, TX)
    Online archive of the correspondence of Michael Ventris with John Myres, Alice Kober and Emmett L. Bennett, Jr.
  3. IDAP (International Directory of Aegean Prehistorians)
    Database of scholars who study Aegean prehistory and protohistory. The Directory can be queried by name. The entries contain addresses, telephone and fax numbers, email addresses and a brief profile of the researchers based on their research interests.
  4. Emmett L. Bennett archives (PASP, Austin, TX)
    Online archives of the papers of Emmett L. Bennett, Jr., one of the pioneers of Mycenaean epigraphy. Contains publications, manuscripts, notes from conferences, correspondence and photographic materials.
  5. Arthur Evans (1851-1941)
    Biography of the discoverer of the Palace of Knossos, one of the first scholars to study Linear B.
  6. John Chadwick (1920-1998)
    Brief biography of John Chadwick.
  7. Michael Ventris: announcement of the decipherment of Linear B
    Michael Ventris announces the decipherment of Linear B to the BBC (1 June 1952).


  1. SMID. Studies in Mycenaean Inscriptions and Dialect
    Specialized bibliography of research on Linear A and Linear B (1979-1985, 1994-1999) published by the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at the University of Austin (Texas).
  2. NESTOR. Bibliography of Aegean Prehistory and Related Areas
    Specialized bibliography of research on Aegean prehistory and protohistory. Entries up to 2006 can be consulted online using the internal research engine.