Sir Arthur Evans (July 8, 1851 -- July 11, 1941), a British archaeologist most famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, was entertaining a group of friends on his 90th birthday. One of his guests mentioned that the Germans had destroyed Knossos. Evans was so devastated by this news that he only lived three days past that fateful evening. The sad irony lies in the fact that Evans' guest was misinformed. The Germans did not destroy the palace. On the contrary, precautions had been made by them to ensure that the ancient ruin suffered no damage whatsoever.