William Shakespeare’s grave at a church in a town in the UK has been scanned using high-tech radar to unearth hidden secrets about the world’s most famous playwright.
The probe forms part of the UK-wide commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, who lies buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, the town of his birth in the West Midlands region of England.
Radar scans are most commonly used in graveyards to detect unmarked or previously unknown graves, allowing experts to find coffins and learn details about their size, shape and material they are made from.
In this case, it is believed documentary-makers were seeking to learn more about Shakespeare’s life and family, the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported.
The preliminary radar survey has already taken place, with final results due to be broadcast in a ‘Channel 4’ documentary in the coming months.
Shakespeare was buried in 1616, with the gravestone carrying the warning against any digging: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forebeare, To digg the dust enclosed heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.”
A spokesperson for Holy Trinity Church said: “We can confirm a scan of the grave has been completed. Any research or investigation within Holy Trinity Church can only take place with the express permission of the church. Requests are always dealt with on a case by case basis, and may be subject to confidentiality agreements.
The grave study will follow research into New Place, Shakespeare’s home in the medieval town dating back to the 16th century.
The results of the grave scan are expected to be announced before the World Shakespeare Congress in August this year, a worldwide gathering of 1,000 academics likened to the Olympics of Shakespeare studies.