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Archaeology By Joe Burgett -

People Who Found Scientific Discoveries In Their Own Backyard
[Image via Public Domain]

Bones Hidden In Ben Franklin’s Basement

  • Year: 1997

Benjamin Franklin is one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, who was also well-known for his inventions. He was never one to shy away from a good party, particularly those in France. However, a lot of people began to wonder if Franklin had a secret that no one ever knew about him. In November of 1997, the skeletal remains of at least 28 bodies were found in the basement of Franklin’s very elegant townhouse. At the time, police thought this was the work of a serial killer currently at large in their city. Yet that was when one of the most compelling scientific discoveries of the late 1990s started to get very interesting.

People Who Found Scientific Discoveries In Their Own Backyard
[Image via WMHT TV]
When the remains were examined, they dated back to the mid-1700s. What’s interesting is that the home, located at 36 Craven Street, is not an American address at all. It is in the heart of London, England. Franklin was born in 1705 in Boston, Massachusetts. However, he was a diplomat for the United States as an adult and lived at this address. Yet one should not assume Franklin had a dark secret. Rather, the bones come from an anatomy school that had been run by William Hewson, the son-in-law of Franklin’s landlady, Margaret Stevenson. The school was opened at Craven Street by Hewson after a falling out with his mentor, which Franklin actually wrote about.

People Who Found Scientific Discoveries In Their Own Backyard
[Image via ImAAm/Shutterstock.com]

The Backyard Tunnel Into An Egyptian Pyramid

  • Year: 2014-2015

If you think these other scientific discoveries found in a backyard or local property were interesting, they don’t hold a candle to this. An Egyptian man named Nagy was digging in his backyard in 2014, which was technically illegal. In doing so, he uncovered large stone blocks. Without realizing it, Nagy uncovered a corridor roughly 33 feet beneath the ground. When Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities learned about Nagy’s discovery, he sent archeologists to his home. What he found was a causeway to the Pyramid of Khufu, the oldest of all the remaining Giza pyramids.

People Who Found Scientific Discoveries In Their Own Backyard
[Image via Celli07/Shutterstock.com]
Funny enough, archaeologists had been searching for this exact corridor for more than three decades. Herodotus actually mentioned it in his Histories writing and claimed he even visited it in the 5th century BCE. He wrote that the passage was enclosed and covered in reliefs. However, before Nagy, only small remnants were ever found. The Khufu pyramid complex is said to have a connection to a lost temple near the Nile River. Due to this, the discovery of the causeway allowed archeologists to assume the temple might be buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman. Perhaps, they will go digging there to find out one day.


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Harvard University

Guinness Book of World Records


USA Today


The Guardian

Huffington Post

The Independent