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Sir Arthur John Evans

(updated August 4, 2007)

Sir Arthur John Evans was born on July 8, 1851 in Nash Mills in England. The less than 1.60 meters long Evans was of great importance to Crete because of the excavation of the palace of Knossos and the investigation he did on the Minoan civilization. He followed history aimed education at the Harrow school in Harrow on the Hill, Brasenose College, Oxford, the University of Oxford and the Georg-August University in Göttingen Germany.

Portrait of EvansPortrait of Evans

Evans traveled throughout Eastern Europe and worked as a correspondent in the Balkans for the Manchester Guardian. Evans did a lot of research on an old location at the current Skopje. He was married to Margaret Freeman. They lived together in Rugasa, today's Dubrovnik, in Croatia. Evans was banned from the country after he was accused of espionage in Herzegovina in 1882. He and Margaret went back to the English Oxford. From 1884 to 1904, Evans worked as a curator of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. Margaret died in 1893 at the TB disease.

In 1894 Evans paid a visit to Crete for the first time. When the site of the palace of Knossos was discovered Evans first researched the writing of the Minoans. When Crete gained independence in 1900 he bought the site of the excavations. There he made excavations from 1900 to 1931. He hired approximately 100 employees and has spent 250,000 British pounds. From 1921 to 1935 he wrote the work 'The Palace of Minos in Knossos', in which he described his excavations. This six-volume (not four- or five-volume, as in other publications can be read) work is seen as the Bible of the Minoan architecture. Evans wrote dozens of other publications relating to the Minoan civilization in which he, among other important things, describes the writing from the Minoans.

Evans was a widely respected archaeologist. In 1911 he received a royal award for his work. Near the entrance to the palace of Knossos is a bust placed in memory of him. Evans died on July 11, 1941, in the English Youlbury at the age of ninety.