Object of the month for August 2010

Each month we will feature a different object from the Museum with a unique story to tell.

16th Century Pottery Fragment
Meet the 'Shoreditch Bearded Man', who can be found on a fragment of pottery which would have originally formed part of a jug. The fragment was extracted from the site of Shakespeare's first purpose built theatre in Shoreditch, East London. Could it be the Bard himself?

Decide for yourself as this precious piece of pottery is currently on display in our new exhibition ‘Archaeology in Action’, which offers a unique insight into the work undertaken by Museum of London Archaeology. Our Archaeologists have recently returned to the site of The Theatre to undertake more work before the Tower Theatre Company build their new theatre on the site, continuing the tradition of performance which stretches back centuries. You can follow the work of our archaeologists on our blog at: http://www.mymuseumoflondon.org.uk/blogs/blog/category/excavations-atshakespeare’s-theatre/ The fragment was found close to the location of the original theatre on a site were debris from its demolition were located, suggesting that the jug was likely used either by someone attending performances or involved in the production. The face is represented in caricature which makes identifying the person featured even more difficult but the hint of a ruff around the neck indicates that they were either a nobleman or gentleman. The short pointed beard is also typical of the fashion amongst gentleman of the time. Our in-house archaeological team have a long history of archaeological discovery in London, the UK and internationally and continue to unearth a wealth of treasures at home and abroad. Find out more on our website www.museumoflondon.org.uk/archaeology