Sir Arthur John Evans ( born July 8, 1851 in Nash Mills, Hertfordshire, † July 11, 1941 in Youlbury, Oxfordshire ) was a British archaeologist. Evans is considered the discoverer of the Minoan civilization. He was known primarily for the excavation and exploration of the Minoan palace of Knossos in the early 20th century in Crete.
Life and work
Sir Arthur John Evans was the son of the renowned British archaeologist John Evans and his wife, Harriet Ann, a daughter of the inventor John Dickinson. He married the daughter of the historian Edward Freeman and in 1884 Director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, a position he held until 1908.
In 1889, the Directorate of the Ashmolean Museum by Greville Chester, a traveler who acted with archaeological finds, was offered, among other things, a seal of red carnelian stone for sale. Evans recognized on the stone symbols of figurative details and elusive objects. He held the sign of Anatolian - Hittite or Syro - Hittite - from the second millennium BC, but learned from Chester, that the sealing stone was found in Sparta. Evans bought the seal stone. Four years later, multiple copies of similar seal stones in Athens were offered him which should come from the island of Crete. Evans turned to Adolf Furtwängler and received from this a number of seal impressions with images of the same font, its origin was Crete also. Also, Evans became aware of a coming from Crete two-sided gem with similar hieroglyphics that was owned by Archibald Henry Sayce.
Inspired by the discovery of Troy by Heinrich Schliemann and inspired by Arthur milk Hoefer theory of a Bronze Age civilization, Evans traveled in March 1894 Crete and explored by Candia from the island's interior, the Ida Mountains, the Dikti Mountains and the south of the plain of Messara. He became aware of more than twenty ancient cities and acquired by the locals articles from the Minoan period, as seal stones, gems and footprints Cretan hieroglyphs. Among the rural population, mostly young mothers, perforated Minoan seal stones of tapes for example, were worn around the neck, called the " milk stones " and those magical power attributed. On gems and ceramic shards Evans also discovered a different kind of script that looked for letters.
From 1895 to 1900 Evans bought the land on the hill Kephala south of Candia (Heraklion ), on which his opinion, the ruins at Knossos were, as has already been mentioned in Homer. There had already been found fragments of painted stucco, ceramic shards, a gold ring and a vessel of steatite. The Cretan Minos Kalokairinos laid before Evans on the Kephala large Tonfässer between stone walls and free the American journalist William J. Stillman had come there on old stone marks. On March 23, 1900 Evans began excavating the city and signed up to 30, 100 workers later at their own expense. The men uncovered a magnificent palace with numerous frescos, the Evans attributed to the mythical King Minos. Parts of the ruins left Evans later buildings " reconstruct " ( ie, by additions bring in the form that he considered the " original" ), which at that time provoked much criticism and from today's perspective, archaeologists would be unthinkable.
Finds from Knossos was Evans exhibit in London in 1903 and he earned fame and recognition. In 1911, the British King George struck him a knight. By 1935, Evans led the excavations in Crete. In the same year he completed his six -part scientific work of his discoveries from ( " The Palace of Minos ", 1921-35, and in 1936 came another index tape by Joan Evans ). He died in 1941 shortly after his 90th birthday.
Evans suggested, contrary to the current understanding, the Minoan culture as a standalone, created without external influences culture.
Evans was a member ( "Fellow" ) was added in 1901 to the Royal Society, in 1936 the Copley medal awarded him. He was also a member of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 1970, a crater was named to the moon back to Evansville.