(The following article appeared 12/2 in the Times of London.)
Archaeologists to dig up Shakespeare’s rubbish
A team of archaeologists began digging on the site of Shakespeare’s last home yesterday in a search for clues that might reveal more about his life.
They hope to discover remains of clothing, documents and even household waste. The dig is at New Place, where he lived from 1597 until his death in 1616.
Richard Kemp, of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “We are hoping to find organic debris that will teach us what the great man had for dinner. Our dream find would be the first draft of The Tempest, which we know Shakespeare did write here.”
Kevin Coll, who is leading the dig, said: “This is the most exciting thing I have ever worked on. To be able to learn more about a single person, who most people can still relate to, is frankly thrilling.
(The following appeared in the Guardian, 11/25.)
2,500-year-old Greek theatre under the Acropolis to be restored
The ruined theatre under the Acropolis where the works of Euripides and other classical playwrights were first performed some 2,500 years ago will undergo partial restoration over the next six years, Greek officials said.
The €6m program is set for completion by 2015 and will include extensive modern additions to the surviving stone seats of the Theatre of Dionysus.
Standing on the southern slopes of the Acropolis hill, the theatre was first used in the late 6th century BC. It saw the opening performances of tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as Aristophanes's comedies.
"The Theatre of Dionysus … is of immense historic significance, as it is here that the masterpieces of ancient drama were first performed," said architect Constantinos Boletis, the project leader.
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