Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Digging for Shakespeare?

Is anybody following the Dig For Shakespeare project? I mean, I want to be excited, and maybe I’m just too early, but so far I see references but not much of anything else.  People are more excited about the NotCardenio.

For those who haven’t heard about the project, it’s an archaeological dig around New Place, Shakespeare’s final home.  They’re even selling tickets, which I think is a wonderful idea and I hope I’ve got some Stratford geeks who plan on going to have a look.

But … that’s it?  The dig supposedly begins March 26 – two days from now – and the web site still just says “Full Site Coming Soon.”  Worse, they type worse that I do.  One sentence reads “mark a key milestone in the understanding of how the Stratford-upon-Avon” (whut?) while right below that on the next line, archaeological is spelled wrong.

I hope they really do start on a Friday, because if it ends up as primarily a weekend thing I’m typically not behind the computer enough to stay on top of any news.

5 comments:

Dig4Shakespeare said...

Issued: 21/03/2010

A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE FOR VISITORS TO NEW PLACE
Dig for Shakespeare launches 26 March 2010

Visitors to New Place and Nash’s House in Stratford-upon-Avon will have a unique chance to dig deeper into the later life of Shakespeare from 26 March 2010, when the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust launches ‘Dig for Shakespeare’, an archaeological exploration and visitor experience at Shakespeare’s home in the town.

From 26 March until the end of October, visitors to Stratford will be able to watch as archaeologists unearth the foundations – and hopefully, rubbish tips – of Shakespeare’s House, which was demolished in 1759. A special viewing platform has been constructed so that visitors will be able to peek over the shoulders of a team of archaeologists and volunteers as they excavate the area where Shakespeare’s house and courtyard stood – an up-close view that will enable them to feel as though they are part of the dig team!

“We’re excavating three areas in total – one large trench will run from the Chapel Street end of the property up to the end of the inner courtyard, a second will investigate the area currently occupied by the herb garden, and the final area will involve the excavation of one quarter of the knot garden at the rear of the building,” explains Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. “We do not know if the knot garden was an area used by Shakespeare – it may have been a yard simply used by his servants, but this could actually yield some fantastic results, especially if it was an area where rubbish was thrown or the cess pit was located.”

To help visitors understand why the Trust is undertaking such an extensive excavation, Nash’s House – the building that adjoined New Place, and which was owned by the husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter – will feature a new exhibition focusing on what is known of Shakespeare’s life when he returned from London to Stratford, and explaining what archaeologists are hoping to find buried beneath the soil.

Visitors will also take a different route around the property, walking through from the front to the rear of the house and exiting through the former education room, which will be relocated to the first floor. They will be guided around the perimeter of the knot garden, where archaeologists and interpretation staff will explain the current position of the dig, before returning to the front of the property along a raised platform, which takes them right between the two other trenches, for an unrivalled view of the largest excavation.


The dig is being undertaken by archaeologists from Birmingham Archaeology based at the University of Birmingham, who will be working on the dig seven days a week. Admission prices, which include access to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and exhibition, Nash’s House and New Place, and Hall’s Croft are £12.50 for adults, £8.00 for children and £11.50 for concessions.

For more details, please call +44 (0) 1789 292 325 or book online at www.shakespeare.org.uk

Duane said...

Yay ...a press release. I wonder if anybody actually read my post and plans to fix the errors on their homepage, or if they just spotted a reference to the project and threw a press release at it? I hope the level of interaction increases when the dig actually begins.

Craig said...

What's the NotCardenio? That Arden edition of Double Falsehood?

Duane said...

Yes - was just looking for a cute and brief way to sum it up. Feel free to expand as, "Even if we give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is a revision of a revision of a revision of Cardenio, at this point it's probably got more NotShakespeare than Shakespeare in it."

Craig said...

Well, I've pre-ordered, and I aim to read the argument with an open mind. But I am generally of the opinion that too much credulity has been given to this silly little play. Mosely and Theobald's attributions were either mistaken or fraudulent, as demonstrated by Mosely's _many_ other ridiculous Shakespere attributions and Theobald's ornate distancing from the position in his second edition.