BookBrowse Reviews The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox

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The Riddle of the Labyrinth

The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code

By Margalit Fox

The Riddle of the Labyrinth
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: May 2013,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2014,
    400 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Margalit Fox's The Riddle of the Labyrinth tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language, masterfully blending history, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.

Imagine this for a minute: You're an archaeologist on an expedition in the countryside in Crete when you come across a tablet that looks like the image below. What is the first impression you get? It is obviously writing. The unmistakable signs of communication are there, but it is not in any alphabet you recognize. What exactly is it trying to tell you?

Linear BAnswers to questions like these are endlessly fascinating because they trigger our infinite capacity for curiosity. You want to know because you want to know. The drive to solve this particular mystery forms the backbone of Margalit Fox's The Riddle of the Labyrinth. The book is a fascinating insight into the race for decipherment of this alphabet that was labeled "Linear B." Hundreds upon hundreds of these Bronze Age Linear B tablets were discovered, dating to about 1450 B.C., nearly seven centuries before the advent of the Greek ...

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