Archaeologists to embark on investigation into Shakespeare's later life

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London, March 11(ANI): Archaeologists are all set to start a ground-breaking investigation into Shakespeare's later life in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

According to a report in Response Source, the archaeological dig will take place at New Place, the house that Shakespeare owned for 19 years and occupied at the time of his death in 1616.

The 'Dig for Shakespeare' will see a team of archaeologists from Birmingham Archaeology, along with a hardy crew of volunteers, excavate three locations within the grounds of New Place in a dig where visitors will be able to interact with the archaeological team.

Shakespeare's house at New Place was built on three sides of an open courtyard on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane.

The largest trench to be dug will stretch from the servants' quarters in the Chapel Street wing - where the foundations of the later 1702 building will be uncovered - across the courtyard to the rear wing, which is where Shakespeare and his family would have worked and lived.

A further trench will explore the area thought to have been his pantry and brewery, and one quarter of the 19th Century knot garden will be dug - into what would have been Shakespeare's backyards.

This is where archaeologists believe they might find defunct wells, filled in with refuse and waste when they ceased to be used.

Archaeologists often find that old wells hold all kinds of secrets, with the anaerobic (waterlogged) conditions preserving organic waste and detritus.

It is hoped that these will give the Trust a real insight into the lives of the property's occupants.

"Once the turf is lifted, our archaeologists will start work to dig down to foundation level and beyond with trowels so that we can monitor closely anything hidden within the spoil. Six test pits excavated last October gave us confidence that this will be a productive dig," said Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Trust.

"Who knows, we might find one of Shakespeare's shoes, some of his discarded correspondence or even some of his personal effects - only time will tell!" she said.

"We know a lot about Shakespeare's work, but relatively little about his later life, particularly when he started to spend far more time back in his home town," said Professor Stanley Wells, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

"We are hopeful that this dig will represent one of the most significant research opportunities for Shakespeare fans through the world, revealing and confirming many details of his later life about which we had previously only speculated," he added. (ANI)

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