Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 176. Saturday, 22 Jun 1991.
Subject: Archeology Update
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 91 8:55:23 EDT
An interesting article by Paul Nelson, of Marlboro College VT, appears
in the Spring 1991 *Shakespeare Bulletin* under the title: "`We the
globe can compass soon': An Update on the Status of Archeology on
London's South Bank Theatres." Although there hasn't been a great
deal of news lately, I think some of this article might interest
After a hiatus which began in 1989, "keyhole" digging will begin in
the basement of the Anchor Terrace as soon as formal consent is obtained
from the Department of the Environment. (Anchor Terrace, situated
above the Globe Theatre remains, is a "Grade II listed building" -- a
historic site in its own right.) Construction of Sam Wanamaker's
International Shakespeare Globe Centre complex is awaiting more
detailed information regarding the diameter of the Globe remains (and
perhaps also additional funds). Attempts to use "ground probing
impulse radar" have proven thus far inconclusive and disappointing,
but the archeological investigation of the Globe site is under none of
the urgent time constraints which faced the Rose Theatre site in 1989.
The eastern third of the Rose theatre site, not excavated in 1989, is
now also available for investigation. Construction of the Imry
Merchant office tower on the Rose site is now apparently complete, and
thought is being given to the most appropriate way to exhibit the entire
Rose site for tourists. Ironically, the current economic downturn leaves the
Imry Merchant office tower, constructed despite the urgent pleas of
scholars and performers, entirely without tenants. (Which, I confess,
gives me some small satisfaction...).
Although the pace of investigation at both these sites will now be
considerably slower, and in the case of the Globe will be considerably
more tangled as a result of the "Ancient Monument" and "Historic Site"
designations, it is certain that both will now be investigated as
thoroughly as possible.
Do any other SHAKSPEReans have information to add?
University of Toronto