I just finished reading "The Decipherment of Linear B" by John Chadwick. It's a short book which does an excellent job of explaining the process of decipherment by Michael Ventris (an architect and amateur linguist/cryptographer) for people without any knowledge of Linear B, or even Greek for that matter---although it's probably more interesting if you know some Greek. I thought it was an exciting read.
Here is a chapter from "The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean" on the Dartmouth website, which deals briefly with Linear B:
http://projectsx.dartmouth.edu/history/ ... es/25.html
There's also a site (www.ancientscripts.com
) which gives a list of the syllabic characters, and I think some translated words, but it wasn't working just now....hopefully it'll be functional again later.
Astraea wrote:Also, if ka-ri-te is written the same as ka-li-e-tei, how could people tell the difference?
Apparently there are still some people who question the decipherment because they find many of the interpretations too subjective, but from Chadwick's book I get the impression that it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt, if not finalized. But the example you give illustrates the flexibility of an alphabetic script compared to a syllabic script.