His special interest was the Greek island of Crete, and he was largely responsible for the excavations of the city of Knossos, capital of the Minoan civilization, which uncovered the site that is open to visitors today. Not only did he discover these remains, but he substantially restored and reconstructed them. The results may be disturbing to modern eyes, but his motives were of the best. While Evans was working at Knossos in the period between 1899 and 1935, many of his contemporaries were interested only in removing items of interest from the sites they uncovered.
Evans was knighted for his services to archaeology, and is commemorated both at Knossos and at the Ashmolean Museum.