Did anyone see the Channel 4 documentary, "Shakespeare's Tomb" back in March (or on the app where you can still watch it)? They looked at the stones and how much shorter Shakespeare's is to the others. They used radar to see what lies beneath the surface without disturbing the ground...and here's where it gets interesting...
There was a story, "How Shakespeare's Skull Was Stolen and Found". It is definitely worth a read. They compared the possible theft with the discoveries below the surface:-
* The bodies were buried three feet deep. Any research would have pointed a family vault, yet the text clearly stated this find.
* The head end has been replaced by a repair job which was never noted in any church records...it seems the skull was not there after all!
* The skull was left in a burial chamber 15 miles away. This skull still sits there, but it did not belong to Shakespeare.
What I got from reading the book, which was not mentioned in the documentary:-
* When the excavation began, they got to three feet deep and the initial find was a large grey stone, similar to materials the church was built from. There is a wall between Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway underground...perhaps this was a significant disturbance to the ground's structure?
* The skull, when found, didn't seem familiar. Perhaps it was the fact a skull doesn't appear like a face covered in flesh, perhaps the shape didn't quite fit the expected find...which leads to the skull found 15 miles away not belonging to the Bard.
* When they returned to replace the skull, the stone began to crack as it was lifted, meaning the skull was never replaced. If this stone was broken and the soil underneath disturbed, the crack would lead to a break, thus a repair needing to be done. It wouldn't have been recorded as there would be evidence of the bones being moved - against Shakespeare's wishes.
A couple of questions rattle around the mind as to this lone skull:-
* Was the owner of the skull the person who wrote Shakespeare's works?
* Why was Anne's grave walled off, away from the rest of the family? Perhaps Shakespeare was buried in this chamber to throw potential looters off the scent? They could be in an entirely different order.
* If the theft was 200 years after his death and the bodies only wrapped in a shroud closer to the elements, wouldn't have the bones decomposed by then? I wonder how acidic the soil is to have preserved the skeleton for so long?
* How deep did the radar go and is there anything they can see at six feet deep?
I've only read the first part so far, as that's all that's currently available on Kindle - and by looks of it, hasn't been available for long! I'd love to hear/read some of your thoughts on the matter.
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