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Pages and Files
Atlantis and The End of Crete
Daily Life in Ancient Crete
Gods and Goddesses
Minoan and Mycenaean Art Slide Show
Religion in Ancient Crete
Sir Arthur Evans
The Throne Room at Knossus
The Twelve Labors of Heracles
Theseus and The Minotaur
Wordles about The Odyssey
Zeus and Hera
Sir Arthur Evans
Sir Arthur Evans by Milo and Stella
Sir Arthur Evans was an archaeologist. He found the palace of
. His expeditions led to many other important discoveries on Crete.
Here is a replica of Knossos that we made out of blocks for a scavenger hunt:
is the biggest and most mountainous island in the Aegean Sea. Few thought that it could be a habitat for an advanced civilization. However, this is the story of one man whose theories led him to discover one of archaeology’s most major achievements.
Sir Arthur Evans was born on July 8, 1851 and died of natural causes on July 11, 1941. Evans was an archaeologist famous for his excavations in Crete and discovering
, a palace of mass sophistication. Along with his friend and fellow archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann he was a pioneer in discovering the Bronze Age civilizations in the Aegean Sea.
Arthur was born in the town of Nash Mills, England. He was the first son of John Evans and Harriet Dickinson. His mother died when he was seven. For the rest of his childhood, he was raised by his step-mother Fanny. Arthur’s father, co-owned a paper mill. The mill’s profits would eventually fund Evans's expeditions.
In 1870, he went to Oxford’s Brasenose College. While in his 30’s he was appointed the curator of the Ashmolean Museum in the University of Oxford. He set out to improve the museum and make it more important. He gave a gift to the museum of Cretan coins and seal stones, these artifacts inspired and drew him to the island in 1894.
Picture from flickrrCC by Jorge - 11
After Heinrich Schliemann discovered Troy and guessed there was also an empire on the island of Crete, Evans became interested in proving him right.
In 1894, using his inheritance from his father, Evans was able to buy a particular site that he was interested in and start an excavation. He looked at this site because the inhabitants continually found many objects while tilling their fields. Also, an earlier excavation took place there by a Greek merchant but was stopped due to legal complications with the Turkish government. In 1899, the Turks had left and Evans was able to excavate freely.
In 1899 Evans uncovered
und a complicated array of corridors with pottery and frescoes. He dubbed the civilization that lived here the Minoans after the mythical
that lived there in a Greek myth.
This was a very civilized empire. There was a
, running water and magnificent frescoes depicting
and wildlife decorating the walls. By 1903 most of the palace had been excavated and the workers had started to reconstruct the castle. In 1911 Arthur Evans was knighted for his discoveries.
Sir Evans tried to decipher the writing that was all over the palace. These scripts were called Linear A and Linear B. He was unsuccessful but delivered a lecture on what he knew about them at Oxford. This lecture however, inspired
. Linear A remains a mystery. Evans was successful however, with the
of Crete which he divided into categories.
The rebuilding of
was interrupted by WWI but after the war the work continued until 1931 when he retired. 10 years later he died in Boar’s Hill, England. Critics today say that the palace was skillfully excavated, but the reconstructed buildings were not historically accurate. They were an art deco style that was popular during the 1930’s.
Dolphin Fresco from Flickr
Another error of Evans' is that he thought the Minoans and
were more of a influential empire during the time period between 1600-1400 BCE . While an important kingdom,
never reached Athens’s sophistication, cultural, military and political dominance.
His greatest achievements were finding
, reconstructing it and giving us a better understanding of the Archaic Aegean history. Although the average person may not have heard abou
t him or the Minoans, he remains an important figure in archaeology and world history.
Here is a Power Point we made:
Here are our sources of information and some sites you should check out for more info.
Burrell, Roy, and Peter Connolly. The Greeks . New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print.
Thomas Wall and Edward Miller, Ancient Crete, Oxford University Press, 1999. Print
Bull Leaping Fresco
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