The Theatre – Archaeological Dig 5

By tim braybrooke on 10 Aug 2010

Echoes… Places and people often leave behind traces of themselves in the memory of a landscape.  In the countryside archaeological remains can often survive as ‘lumps and bumps’ on the ground or as marks in fields of growing crops, both, given the correct conditions and time of year, are often clearly visible from the air.  An urban landscape does not lend itself to such aerial surveys, buildings and roads smother any archaeology often by many metres.  However, echoes do survive. The Theatre was London’s first purpose built playhouse and lasted for 21 years and the year after it opened a […]

The Theatre – Archaeological Dig 4

By tim braybrooke on 23 Jul 2010

Welcome back… Work continues a pace as we approach the final three weeks of the excavation period,  So do our minutes hasten… (Sonnet 60). Last week we welcomed a new member to the team, Dave Saxby, whose insights and vast experience will be invaluable to our understanding of the site. Of nuns and beer – a brief history from the holy to the profane… Up until the mid 12th century, the area of the site here would have been just fields.  Previous archaeological excavations in the area immediately surrounding The Theatre have found no substantial evidence for Pre-historic, Roman and […]

The Theatre – Archaeological Dig 3

By tim braybrooke on 14 Jul 2010

There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip… This beautiful item was found in a trench placed just outside of The Theatre, and once again, our pottery expert Jacqui Pearce has been able to throw some light upon it: The goblet is more properly called a beaker (the more ordinary connotations of this term are better suited to it as well). It is made in Surrey-Hampshire border ware, probably in the mid 16th century (could go into later 16th, but not much beyond). It could well have been made at Farnborough, the late 16th century hub of the industry. The […]

The Theatre – Archaeological Dig 2

By tim braybrooke on 5 Jul 2010

Welcome back to The Theatre Remember the face?  Here it is with the other shards we found to fit: Our pottery specialist, Jacqui Pearce, says : The face is outlined in relief, as are the nose, mouth, eyes and beard. The only indication of costume is a deep ruff, which is clearly shown surrounding the neck and giving the head a sharply defined appearance that became popular in the late Elizabethan period. The ruff was a detachable collar that fitted over the shirt and all round the neck. It developed c. 1570 from the increasingly elaborate pleated collar worn by […]

The Theatre – Archaeological Dig

By tim braybrooke on 29 Jun 2010

Welcome! Welcome to the first post of the weblog that will be covering our work at a most important and exciting site in London’s Shoreditch, that of not just a theatre, but The Theatre, London’s first, purpose built playhouse, The Theatre of James Burbage and, of course, a certain William Shakespeare. This will be a brief introduction to the site and the people working there.  Over the next few weeks we will be investigating a direct, physical connection with some of the giants of our cultural heritage and we want to show you a little of how archaeology works and […]

The tail of a Monkey and a Tortoise and a trip to the Museum of Life

By mike henderson on 13 Apr 2010

By Dr James Morris Recently I’ve been working on the animal bone from the Royal London Hospital (RLP05) excavated by MOLA in 2006. Some of this consists of waste from the hospital kitchens, and gives us fascinating evidence for the diet of both the patients and staff. The hospital was founded in 1740 and archaeological evidence suggests that the associated burial ground was in use from 1820-1854. The remains give a brilliant opportunity to combine the zooarchaeological data with the historical records, which show hospital food has never been great. However, amongst the animal remains were a number of more […]

Sore Feet

By mike henderson on 15 Dec 2008

 By Don Walker Restrictive, ill fitting and pointed shoes can result in a condition known as hallux valgus. This is where the proximal pedal phalanx (toe bone) of the great toe points laterally (outward towards the other toes), exposing the medial area (inner surface) of the metatarsal head joint surface. In extreme cases, the great toe may cross under or over the second toe. This may also result in painful joint disease and the formation of a bunion, a swelling around the toe joint. Symptoms include swelling, redness and pain at the base of the great toe.   Analysis of […]

Bonekickers: when reality and fiction collide

By mike henderson on 12 Jul 2008

“There is a medieval mystery to solve, so let’s start digging.” So began the new BBC archaeological drama Bonekickers. Part Indiana Jones, part Da Vinci Code with a hint of Time Team, the programme is set in the style of most modern forensic crime series complete with sinister music and dark lighting. If you missed it, the first episode this week portrayed a group of maverick archaeologists from the University of Wessex where “the excavation of 14th century medieval soldiers alongside Saracen coinage in Somerset leads to the hunt for the True Cross”. The show featured a fundamentalist Christian property […]