Department of Classics

Christina Skelton, Grand Prize Winner for Interdisciplinary Project on Linear B

Thu, May 10, 2007

Christina Skelton, Plan II Honors, Classics and Geosciences, Dedman Scholar and Junior Fellow, Project title: "Methods of Using Phylogenetic Systematics to Reconstruct the History of the Linear B Script"

Supervising professors: Thomas G. Palaima, Classics and David Hillis, Integrative Biology.

The University Co-Op George H. Mitchell Student Awards for Academic Excellence celebrate and reward undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated unparalleled dedication and achievement in their fields of study.

Skelton studies the Aegean Bronze Age using techniques adapted from the natural sciences. She is using phylogenetic systematics, the method used in biology to reconstruct the evolutionary history of groups of organisms, to study the evolution of a writing system used for ancient Greek used by the Mycenaeans called Linear B. Her work addresses some of the more baffling issues in Mycenaean studies, e.g., the relative dates of the Linear B texts, identification of scribal hands, and the relationships between Linear B and the earlier script from which it was derived.

Skelton has reported on a further step in her research at the Texas Academy of Science Annual Meeting. She has a paper forthcoming in the journal Archaeometry on "Reconstructing the History of an Ancient Script using Phylogenetic Systematics."

Skelton is one of six recipients of the Manson A. Stewart Scholarship from the Classical Association of the Midwest and South. In 2006-07, she received an Eva Stevenson Woods Endowed Presidential Scholarship from UT.

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