PhD thesis now online!

thesis front pageSpeaking of publications that have appeared recently, the PhD thesis I completed last year is now available online! It’s titled ‘The Undeciphered Signs of Linear B’ and is a study of the 14 Linear B syllabic signs (out of 87) whose sound-values are still uncertain. Spoiler alert: by the end of the thesis, they generally aren’t going to be any more undeciphered than they currently are – but (hopefully) I’ve made some progress in understanding how they fit into the script as a whole and their possible values, as well as using them in a case-study to look at how palaeography (the study of the form of script signs, especially as used by different scribes) can be used to talk about wider issues such as how scribes were trained or what the date(s) of the Linear B documents are. Interested readers can find the thesis (plus supplementary catalogues) on the Cambridge University Repository or my Academia.edu page.

Also, as a bonus, check out this excellent article entitled ‘Classicists Name Their Pets‘ (does exactly what it says on the tin, with cute pictures!)

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Halloween blog round-up

Only a day late, a round-up of some Halloween-related posts to enjoy!

Firstly, here’s a collection of spooky stories from ancient Rome: ‘Zombies, Witches, and Werewolves, Oh My!

And here is yet another post for the board game fans about a game that’s good fun to play on Halloween (or any other time of year when you have several hours to spare for fighting Lovecraftian monsters): Eldritch Horror.

UK readers can help out with some spooky historical research: historians are trying to track down examples of ‘witch marks’ – lines, geometric designs, or letters carved into doors and windows of houses, churches, etc to keep witches away. Details at the Historic England site, where you can also submit pictures of any marks you spot!

Finally, a bonus link: pictures of some very grumpy looking cats in ridiculous Halloween costumes.

Blog round-up: from PhDs to SF

A quick round-up of some recent blog posts by friends and colleagues that I think are worth checking out! I recently linked to some good advice for new graduate students from Res Gerendae; here’s another similar post from Katherine McDonald (featuring some more good advice re work/life balance, and a cute picture of a mouse).

Fans of Mycenopoly, or of board games in general, will enjoy this post by Daniel Unruh about the ‘gods playing games’ motif – when gods are depicted as playing board games to control human lives (as frequently seen in the Discworld, for example, or the classic film Jason and the Argonauts).

Finally, one for the SF fans: an interesting pair of posts by Philip Boyes on the close but problematic relationship between science fiction and archaeology: Part 1 and Part 2.

Oh, and here is a picture of a cat, because every blog post is improved by a picture of a cat:

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Happy reading!