The skull of that wily old stoner William Shakespeare, or as his friends called him, Billy Shakes, is missing. In 1879, Argosy magazine published a shocking story that the head of the second greatest writer ever, after Carrie Bradshaw, had been stolen by a ragtag group of trophy-hunting grave diggers in the late 1770s. The report was dismissed as bullhonky (one of the few words Shakespeare didn’t invent), but a new documentary claims otherwise.
The first archaeological investigation of Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity church in Stratford-on-Avon has been carried out for a documentary [Secret History: Shakespeare’s Tomb] to be broadcast by Channel 4 on Saturday. The most striking conclusion is that Shakespeare’s head appears to be missing and that the skull was probably stolen from what is a shallow grave by trophy hunters. (Via)
Silly gravediggers thought if they shook Shakespeare’s skull hard enough, a new play would appear.
Archeologist Kevin Colls, who I assume is the British Indiana Jones, said, “We came across this very odd, strange thing at the head end. It was very obvious, within all the data we were getting, that there was something different going on at that particular spot. We have concluded it is signs of disturbance, of material being dug out and put back again.” He later added, “Grave-robbing was a big thing in the 17th and 18th century.” Ah, I miss the days when digging up a dead person and stealing their stuff was all the rage, don’t you?
(Via the Guardian)