(Reuters) - Archaeologists in London have discovered the remains of an early playhouse used by William Shakespeare’s company where “Romeo and Juliet” and “Henry V” were first performed.
Pre-dating the riverside Globe, the Curtain theater, north of the river Thames in Shoreditch, was home to Shakespeare’s company - the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Remains of walls forming the gallery and the yard within the venue have been discovered by archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).
“This is a fantastic site which gives us unique insight into early Shakespearean theatres,” said Chris Thomas from MOLA, who is leading the archaeological work.
The theatre was immortalized as “this wooden O” in the prologue of Henry V with the lines: “Can this cock-pit hold within this wooden O, the very caskes that did affright the Ayre at Agincourt?”
The discovery will delight historians and Shakespeare fans as excavations offer a picture of where the writer’s early productions were performed, although little further detail is known about the early playhouse. Read more.
This winter, Gilberto Artioli’s team reported the structures of three new pigment molecules. Because the molecules came from samples that originated near Verona, Italy, the Univ. of Padua geoarchaeologist named two of the brilliant blue dyes after Verona’s Shakespearean star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Artioli’s dyes are also the protagonists of a drama of their own. And for some researchers, things might have been better if the pigments had never existed.
Artioli’s samples came from prehistoric flint tools that last year began showing very visible signs of contamination—a bright blue tinge. The mystery sparked a furor in Italy and in the archaeology community. In ensuing media coverage, the case became as much about finding human culprits for the damage as about finding chemical ones. Read more.