Apparently there is an anthropologist in South Africa who would like to know if Shakespeare was high on marijuana. This is a very different type of forensic anthropology than that discussed in the following article.
Francis Thackeray, the director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, has proposed to dig up Shakespeare's grave—along with the resting places of his family—to see if the skeleton could determine the cause of the bard's death. Hair and keratin from fingernails and toenails could also reveal a pattern of drug use, while a chemical analysis of teeth could expose the use of tobacco or marijuana.
Experts have long speculated whether drugs played a role in Shakespeare's genius; many have noted his references to a "noted weed" and "a journey in his head"—lines that appear in two different sonnets. For a study released in 2001, Thackeray discovered cannabis residue (along with cocaine) on clay pipe fragments found in Shakespeare's garden. Cannabis sativa, the plant from which marijuana is derived, was available in England during the Elizabethan era to make textiles, rope, paper, clothing and sails.
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