Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the truth behind Helen of Troy’s face and its fabled ship-launching ability.
‘The whole legend’s just a big misunderstanding. She wasn’t attractive at all; she just had a massive head shaped like a big champagne bottle.’ said Alice Hayton, leading the expedition. ‘It turns out they were forever swinging her into departing flotillas as a sign of good luck.’ she added.
Alice also says that, far from being revered and adulated in her home country of Greece, her life was actually a bit of a nightmare.
‘According to some parchments we’ve discovered, she didn’t have a good time of it, no. People were forever shaking her up and down, calling her names like ‘big bottle head ship-face’ and then telling her to ‘put a cork in it, love’ when she responded.
‘Of course, she was handy for the whole ship-launching thing though, so they were only nasty to a point, but it’s fair to say she was something of a running joke. A bit like that slightly backwards bloke in the pub that everyone takes the piss out of but not so much as to drive him away because they like having him around for amusement value.’
She says further light has also been shed on Helen’s abduction by the Trojans. ‘That was all a mistake as well. They’d just heard this girl was ‘good for a laugh’, that ‘champagne went straight to her head’ and wanted a bit of the action. They must have been disappointed when they got her back and the sun came up.’
Commenting on the Trojan War itself, Alice is now convinced it never happened. ‘The Greeks were a bit disappointed, sure, but they weren’t going to go all that way just to get big bottle head ship-face back. Anyway, it seems they soon found other targets for ridicule; a local man with crap ankles and an emotionally unresponsive horse being just two examples.’