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Professor John Killen

Professor John Killen

Emeritus Professor of Mycenaean Greek

Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge
CB3 9DA

Research Interests

Professor Killen is one of the world's leading experts in the interpretation of the Linear B tablets. He has written a great many articles which, through their combination of linguistic, archaeological, epigraphical and economic/historical expertise, have made a unique contribution to our understanding of the documents and the Mycenaean economy. He was a pupil of the late John Chadwick (who collaborated with Michael Ventris in the decipherment of Linear B), and has played a leading role in the publication of the Corpus of Mycenaean Inscriptions from Knossos and of the standard edition of the Knossos tablets in transcription.

Outside Mycenaean, Professor Killen's interests range over Indo-European phonology and (classical) Greek inscriptional and literary dialects.

Key Publications

Among his major recent publications are:

'Names in -e and -e-u in Mycenaean Greek' in Penney, J.H.W. (ed) Indo-European Perspectives: Studies in Honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies (Oxford University Press, 2004)

'Thoughts on the functions of new Thebes tablets' in Deger-Jalkotzy, S. and Panagl, O. (eds) Die Neuen Linear B-Texte aus Theben: Ihr Aufschlusswert für die Mykenische Sprache und Kultur. Akten des internationalen Forschungskolloquiums an der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 5. und 6. Dezember 2002. (Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2006)

'Conscription and Corvée at Mycenaean Pylos' in Fiscality in Perna, M. (ed) Mycenaean and Near Eastern Archives (Napoli, 2006)

'Mycenaean e-re-e-u' in Lang, F., Reinholdt, C. and Weilhartner, J. (eds.), ΣTEΦANOΣ APIΣTEIOΣ. Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros. Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag (Phoibos Verlag, 2007)

Upcoming events

It's a Kind of Magic

Oct 24, 2017

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology

Classical Archaeology Seminar

Oct 24, 2017

Room 1.04

Philology and Linguistics Seminar

Oct 25, 2017

Room 1.11

What Postmoderns can learn from Premoderns

Oct 25, 2017

Room G.19, Faculty of Classics/Museum of Classical Archaeology

Upcoming events

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Faculty Archivist (part-time)

Oct 10, 2017

The Faculty wishes to recruit a part-time Archivist who will be responsible for the management and care of its archive collections

Kenyon Medal awarded to Joyce Reynolds

Sep 28, 2017

The Kenyon Medal in 2017 has been awarded to Joyce Reynolds FBA for her lifetime's contribution to the research and study of Roman epigraphy.

Postgraduate Open Day Saturday 18 November 2017

Sep 22, 2017

Details of the 2017 Faculty of Classics Postgraduate Open Day are now available online:

Major archaeological discovery near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece

Sep 12, 2017

The Times newspaper reports on excavations this summer at Prosilio near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece, conducted by the Ministry of Culture & Sports of Greece/Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia and of the British School at Athens/University of Cambridge

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