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Sir Arthur John Evans FRS FREng was an English 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 the 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. 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, which was then still in its infancy. He continued Schliemann's concept of Mycenaean civilization but soon found that he needed to distinguish another civilization, the Minoan. 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 Balkans and Middle East, such as the Ottoman Empire.

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