British archaeologists have confirmed the hypothesis that the skull of William Shakespeare was stolen from the tomb, The Guardian reports.
The experts are based on data obtained during scans of burial by means of electromagnetic radar. “We found something strange in that place, where he was to be the head. It traces a certain intervention, as if someone had dug up a grave in this place and then buried it again”, — said the leader of the archeological team Kevin Colls.
Shakespeare’s grave is under the floor of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Scan dispelled a few myths about the burial place of British poet and playwright: the fact that his body was buried in an upright position, and also that Shakespeare was buried at a depth of five meters, so as not to disturb the dust, and that his remains lie in the family crypt. It was found that the burial is at a depth of one meter, it is horizontal, the body was wrapped in a shroud and laid in the ground without a coffin.
The version that Shakespeare’s skull was stolen in the eighteenth century, first appeared in 1879 to the publication of Argosy magazine. Kevin Colls believes that such thefts were not uncommon at the time. “People wanted to get the skull of a famous person to study him and understand what made the man such a genius,” explained the scientist.
The team of archaeologists also examined the skull, which was kept in the crypt of the Church of St. Leonard in Worcestershire, and which, according to some, could have belonged to Shakespeare. Experts determined that the skull belonged to an unknown woman, who died at the age of 70 years.
May 3 will mark 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare.