Secrets in the News: July 13 – July 26

1. Reported July 14

Archaeologists in Egypt discovered an ancient mummification workshop. The 2,500-year-old discovery, made in the Egyptian desert necropolis of Saqqara, included a mummification workshop and a shaft that is believed to be used as a communal burial site. Read more from Science Alert.

2. Reported July 15

Archaeologists scanning a Mexican pyramid which was damaged by an earthquake have uncovered an ancient temple inside. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake which hit Mexico last September caused damage to the country’s historical sites – including the Teopanzolco pyramid in the southern state of Morelos. But the earthquake has also revealed a temple nestled inside the large pyramid – which is thought to date back to 1150 and to belong to the Tlahuica culture, one of the Aztec peoples living in Mexico. Read more from the Independent.

Mural found outside of the ex-Convento de la Natividad in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.
Image courtesy of WikiCommons.


3. On this day: July 16

On July 16, 1439, kissing was banned in England in an effort to stop the Black Death from spreading. Read more about the history and mystery of the Black Death here.

4. Reported July 20

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, scientists opened the 2,000-year-old black sarcophagus that was found July 1 during routine excavation work in Alexandria’s Sidi Gaber district. Inside the sarcophagus were three skeletons that archaeologists believe to be the remains of soldiers or military officials, sitting in a red/brown sludge, which was later revealed to be sewage. Though decomposition of the skeletons seems to be very extensive, they are being transferred to the Alexandria National Museum for further study. Read more on TIME. And watch one of Secrets of the Dead’s many investigations on Ancient Egypt’s mysteries, Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb, below.

5. Reported July 25

A group of archaeologists in Jamestown, Virginia unearthed a skeleton they think belongs to Sir George Yeardly, the man who presided over the first representative government assembly in the Western Hemisphere, and one of Jamestown’s early leaders. Read more on CNN and stream Jamestown’s Dark Winter on Passport.