: Fox News: Shakespeare grave scan shows playwright's skull was 'probably' stolen

17:47 Mar. 24, 2016

Fox News: Shakespeare grave scan shows playwright's skull was 'probably' stolen

A detail of the newly discovered portrait of William Shakespeare, presented by the Shakespeare Birthplace trust, is seen in central London, Monday March 9, 2009.(AP Images)

A team of archaeologists claim that William Shakespeare's skull was 'probably' stolen from its final resting place in Stratford-upon-Avon

The conclusion brings new credence to a long-discredited claim that the skull was stolen from the playwright's grave by trophy hunters in 1794. 

"We came across this very odd, strange thing at the head end," lead archaeologist Kevin Colls, of Staffordshire University, told The Guardian. "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."

Read also Rare Shakespeare edition to go on display in the UK and France

Shakespeare's grave famously bears the poetic admonition, "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones."

Holy Trinity Church vicar Patrick Taylor told Sky News he is not so sure about the grave robbery theory. 

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