Sir Arthur John EVANS FRS FBA FREng 1851 - 1941
Above picture taken 22 June 1888
First child, first son of John EVANS and Harriet Anne DICKINSON.
Born 8th July 1851
Died 12th July 1941
Married Margaret FREEMAN 1848-1893
Arthur John Evans is well documented, so this page just briefly outlines his life.
Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was an archaeologist most famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on Crete. He developed the concept of Minoan civilization from the structures and artifacts found there and elsewhere throughout the eastern Mediterranean. He was the first to define Cretan scripts Linear A and Linear B.
Along with Heinrich Schliemann, Arthur was a pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. Arthur bought the site of Knossos which he developed. He continued Schliemann's concept of Mycenaean civilization but soon found that he needed to distinguish another civilization, the Minoan.
In addition to his archaeological contributions, Evans fulfilled a role in the British Empire for which there is no proper word in formal English. Although he was not a professional statesman or soldier and was probably never a paid agent of the government, he nevertheless negotiated or played a role in negotiating unofficially with foreign powers in the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire, and subsequently the Turkish Republic, recognized this role, according to him informally the status of an ambassador. He was, on request of the revolutionary organizations of the peoples of the Balkans, a significant player in the formation of the nation of Yugoslavia. That nation sent representatives to his funeral in 1941. This role was one outcome of the informal network of associations created by the 19th century British educational system, of which Arthur Evans was, so to speak, a charter member.
(See also Time and Chance by Joan Evans 1943)
Link to the Sir Arthur Evans Archive at the Ashmolean Museum.
Opens 10 Feb 2023