Third 5-year ReportThird 5-year Report

As suggested by the resolution of CIPEM at the 8th International Mycenological Colloquium in Ohrid, Yugoslavia, in 1985, the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at the University of Texas at Austin has made brief reports on its activities at subsequent colloquia. During the period 1996-2001, PASP has continued its mission to serve as a center for the study of Mycenaean, Minoan and Cypriote texts, languages and cultures.

Six main areas of concentration during the last four years were:

  1. preparation for the 11th International Colloquium held May 7-13, 2000;
  2. mounting of the related exhibition on the lives and work of Michael Ventris and Linda Schele and their collaborators and the decipherment of Mayan and Mycenaean writing (March 9-August 1, 2000 in the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries UT Austin) and its accompanying catalogue;
  3. acquisition of materials pertaining to the work of early researchers in the field of Mycenaean studies and work upon this material;
  4. a: continuation of the revived analytical bibliography Studies in Mycenaean Inscriptions and Dialect, for which during this period volumes covering 1982-83 and 1994-95 have appeared and the volume for 1996-97 is in press and due June 2001.
    b: an on-line version of the data in the PASP SMID volumes is imminent.
  5. helping in the production of Palace of Nestor IV, the definitive corpus volume of the Pylos texts, under the direction of José L. Melena, and with the assistance of E.L. Bennett, Jr., J. Bennet, R. Firth, T.G. Palaima, R. Palmer, K. Pluta, C.W. Shelmerdine.
  6. scholarly and professional work by the director, by visiting scholars, and by graduate students participating in the program.

  7. The director of PASP also continues to serve as co-editor of Minos and as its book review editor, as US representative on CIPEM, as a Mitglied of the Mycenaean Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He served 1996-2000 on the executive committee of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and on the editorial board of the Spanish journal of classical philology Faventia. PASP also continues to cooperate in the publication of Aegaeum, and PASP has much-appreciated exchanges of publications with ISMEA in Rome, the Institute of Classical Studies University of London, the Department of Antiquities in Cyprus, and Ziva Antika in Skopje.

    During the period 1996-2001, PASP was paid extended visits by Artemis Karnava (March-May 1998) Ilse Schoep and Jan Driessen (April 1998) and by José Melena (October-November 1999). They participated in ongoing seminars on Linear B economy and administration and on Mycenaean Greek religious texts and did their own research with the archives and reference materials in PASP. We append here the official report by Melena of the results of his stay. Karnava's work is embodied in her completed PH.D. thesis The Cretan Hieroglyphic Script of the Second Millennium BC: Description, Analysis, Function and Decipherment Perspectives (Brussels, 2000).

    Regarding (2) and (3) the results were seen physically in the exhibition and the catalogue. Both were made possible with funding from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and the Dickson Centennial Professorship #2. The catalogue is available from PASP for a $10 handling fee:

    T.G. Palaima, E. Pope and F. Kent Reilly eds., Unlocking the Secrets of Ancient Writing: The Parallel Lives of Michael Ventris and Linda Schele and the Decipherment of Mycenaean and Mayan Writing. Catalogue of an Exhibition Held at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, March 9–August 1, 2000 (Austin 2000) Pp. vi + 34. 24 text figures. [rev. THES (09/01/00) 25]

    PASP during the period 1996-2001 has acquired mainly photocopies of important original sources: the correspondence of Sir John Myres with Michael Ventris and Alice Kober; the chapter of Prudence Smith's unpublished memoirs dealing with June-July 1952 and Ventris's decipherment and BBC broadcast; materials from Andrew Robinson (who visited PASP in early June 1999) relating to his work with Ventris; and most significantly rich materials and insights from Oliver Cox, Ventris's architectural partner and friend. We also have on loan Alice Kober's own copy of her published dissertation. We encourage scholars in other countries to make every effort to preserve their intellectual Mycenological heritage and to record the history of work in this field. The director of PASP spent a good deal of satisfying time exploring and writing about the mostly unsung contribution of Alice Kober to the field of Mycenology.

    Regarding (4), again the support of INSTAP has made possible remarkable progress now that systems are in place for efficient compilation and editing of the necessary data for SMID We received an internal UT FASTTEX grant to help make SMID on-line accessible and searchable. We ask that younger scholars please contact the current SMID editor Nick Dobson for ways of participating in the production of SMID.

    email:    fax: 512 471-4111

    Remember that SMID was founded by Michael Ventris as a concrete manifestation of his firm belief in 'group working' among Mycenologists. We attach the report of former chief SMID editor Peter Van Alfen on recent work.

    Regarding (5) a report was made by the chief editor, José L. Melena, to the research tools and publications committee. A good portion of the visit by J.L.Melena to PASP, when not visiting the Buckhorn Museum, was devoted to this work.

    Regarding (6) PASP receives a high volume of e-queries now about a wide range of matters. These are answered with due dispatch.

    The following theses or articles were written by PASP students and the director since 1996:

    T.G. Palaima:

    Nicolle Hirschfeld

    Kevin Pluta

    Peter van Alfen

    Stavroula Nikoloudis

    Amanda Krauss

    Joann Gulizio

    Susanne Hofstra

    Zoe Dorton

    Jason Railsback

    In addition other former PASP students like Susan Lupack and Susanne Hofstra have contributed a variety of scholarly papers and published works of scholarship during the course of their dissertation work under the direction of C.W. Shelmerdine.

    Hofstra in 2000-2001 holds a teaching position at Wabash College, Lupack at Brooklyn College, and Hirschfeld at University of Tennessee Knoxville. Van Alfen is a fellow at the American School and the Albright Institute in Jerusalem.

    The proceedings of the 11th International Mycenological Colloquium will appear as an Hesperia Supplement.

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