This Week In History News, Feb. 26 – Mar. 4

Published March 3, 2023

Medieval crypt found beneath English vape shop, centuries-old mummy uncovered in Peruvian man's cooler bag, unknown early human groups discovered via prehistoric DNA.

Medieval Crypt Discovered Below A Trapdoor Hidden On The Floor Of An English Vape Shop

Crypt Underneath Vape Shop In Kent

BBCManager Sam Jessop had been working at Evapo vape shop for five years and heard about the trapdoor out back, but it wasn’t until he recently went through it to check the gas meter that he discovered a 700-year-old crypt hiding right below the store.

Some historians believe that, during the Middle Ages, a secret network of crypts, tunnels, and vaults were constructed right below what’s now one of the main shopping districts in the English city of Maidstone. In recent years, one amateur researcher has been gathering scraps of evidence about these hidden chambers — but a recent discovery has more than confirmed these eerie rumors.

When a vape shop manager on Maidstone High Street went to check his gas meter, he went through an old wooden trapdoor out back and discovered a 14th-century crypt that had been hiding right underneath the shop. Evidence suggests that portions of this crypt had been walled off with stone over the years in a way that suggests there are more sealed chambers underneath other shops that are now just waiting to be found.

Read more about this astounding discovery here.

Peruvian Police Just Arrested A Man Carrying A 600-Year-Old Mummy Around In A Cooler Bag

Julio Cesar Bermejo's Mummy

Peruvian Ministry of CulturePolice found the mummy curled up in a fetal position in the man’s bag.

On Feb. 25, 2023, police approached three men in a park in Peru. They had been drinking, and police conducted a routine search of their belongings.

It was during this search that authorities made a startling discovery: one of the men had a centuries-old mummy in his cooler bag, the same bag he had previously used to deliver food to people in the area.

Dig deeper in this report.

Ancient DNA Uncovers New Groups Of Prehistoric Humans In Europe

7,000-Year-Old Human Skull

Volker MinkusA 7,000-year-old human skull and tools found in Germany, from an individual whose population lived alongside Europe’s first farmers.

Until recently, much about the earliest humans to populate Europe remained unknown. Because few human fossils from those cultures remain, archaeologists have primarily had to reference early humans’ artifacts to try and understand our Ice Age ancestors.

All of that is changing now, thanks to a pair of studies examining the largest known database of prehistoric European hunter-gatherer genomes. In total, researchers analyzed the genomes of 357 ancient Europeans who lived between 35,000 and 5,000 years ago — including new data from 116 individuals.

Using this data, they were able to identify at least eight populations of ancient hunter-gatherers who migrated into Europe and coexisted for thousands of years. Some of these groups managed to survive the Ice Age, others did not.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.