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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Shakespeare’s Skull Might Be Missing

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Shakespeare Skull Missing STRATFORD, ENGLAND—Archaeologists carrying out a ground-penetrating radar survey of Shakespeare’s grave at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford have discovered that the playwright’s skull is likely missing, reports the BBC. The radar data show that there was a major repair to the head end of Shakespeare’s grave, which lends new support to a previously dismissed 1879 magazine story claiming that trophy hunters stole his skull. "We have Shakespeare's burial with an odd disturbance at the head end and we have a story that suggests that at some point in history someone's come in and taken the skull of Shakespeare,” said Staffordshire University archaeologist Kevin Colls. "It's very, very convincing to me that his skull isn't at Holy Trinity at all." The survey also revealed that Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway and his other relatives were buried in shallow graves beneath the church’s floor. To read more about archaeology in England’s medieval churches, go to “The Writing on the Church Wall.” 

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