Sir Arthur Evans was born into a wealthy British family and educated at Oxford University and the University of Gottingen. He was inspired to dig Knossos by the great German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who died in 1890 and could not excavate the site which he thought would be a Minoan palace. Evans became the Curator of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford from 1884 to 1908, and he published numerous books recounting his adventures and discoveries. He first visited Crete in 1894 to study the unknown script that could be made out on seal stones. Crete's declaration an independent State in 1897 enabled him to start the excavations in 1990.
The excavations of Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans lasted for three decades (1900-1929) with the interruption of the First World War. His method of excavation is criticized by scientists who think that he used materials foreign to Minoan Architecture (reinforced concrete). The finds of the excavations were published by Sir Arthur Evans in four volumes The Palace of Minos at Knossos(1921-1935), a classic of archaeology.
Sir Arthur Evans is admired for his intuition, his creative imagination and his profound scholarship which discovered the first European Civilisation. As a mark of honour his bust has been erected on the south side of the west court of the palace.