Arthur Evans

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Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist most famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete and for developing the concept of Minoan civilization from the structures and artifacts found there and elsewhere throughout eastern Mediterranean. Evans was the first to define Cretan scripts Linear A and Linear B, as well as an earlier pictographic writing.

Along with Heinrich Schliemann, Evans was a pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. The two men knew of each other and Evans visited Schliemann's sites. Schliemann had planned to excavate at Knossos, but died before fulfilling that dream. Evans bought the site and stepped in to take charge of the project that was then still in its infancy. He continued Schliemann's concept of Mycenaean civilization but soon found that he needed to distinguish it from his own concept - the Minoan.



Family background

Arthur Evans was born in Nash Mills, England, the first child of John Evans and Harriet Ann Dickinson. John Evans came from a family of men who were both educated and intellectually active; his father, Arthur's grandfather, had been headmaster of Market Bosworth Grammar School. John knew Latin and could quote the classical authors. In 1840, instead of going to college, he started work at a paper mill owned by his maternal uncle John Dickinson. He married his cousin and employer's daughter, Harriet, and in 1851 was made a full partner in the family business.[1] Profits from the mill would eventually help fund Arthur's excavations and restorations at Knossos and resulting publications.

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