Alice Kober (b. 1906, d. 1950) has been recommended for a #trowelblazers post since just about the inception of the site, and now that this once forgotten figure has hit the news again (bbc! and thiswonderful new york times piece by Margalit Fox, author of a recent book on cracking Linear B) we thought we’d quickly introduce you to the lady.

By all accounts a self contained woman, whose meticulous cataloguing of the signs of the Linear B script uncovered at Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans was instrumental to its decipherment just a few years after her untimely death, it is wonderful to see the archive created by the meticulous research of Professor Thomas Palaima of the University of Texas that shows the woman behind the painstaking notes. Alice Kober wasn’t merely a dedicated classicist, she was an ardent believer in individual freedom who was greatly concerned about the threat she perceived from the Iron Curtain, and if you check out these lovely papers in her archive, you can start to decipher the woman herself.

Thanks to all the #trowelblazers who suggested we do a post on Alice! And send me your names so i can h/t you :)

Post by Brenna (@brennawalks). Thanks to S. Aro-Valjus, D. Tosa, and C. Lyon for helping us find more about Alice and her amazing archive!

Snippet reproduced from Kober’s 1949 letter to J. Sundwall from the Johannes Sunderwall archive of the Library Åbo Akademi, reproduced by kind permission of the University of Texas Digital Repository from the Alice E. Kober archive created by Professor T. Palaima & D. Tosa

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