Solve the Mystery of
the Three Lead Coffins
Listen to help audio
A surprising find.
A long, twisting investigation.
And lots of unexpected findings.
That's what archaeologists and historians faced when they uncovered three lead coffins at St. Mary's City. The coffins were found under a place where a catholic church had stood – almost 300 years after the church was torn down. It took over two years to piece together the clues to figure out the most likely people to have been buried in the coffins.
The actual archaeologists and historians who worked on this mysterious project are the main characters in this storybook. Archaeologists are people who search for clues about how people lived in the past. They search for artifacts, or things that were left behind by humans. The archaeologists worked hand-in-hand with historians. Historians are people who study people and events from the past. The historians of St. Mary's city used records from the 1600s to figure out who was buried in the coffins.
This story is a little different than most picture books you've seen. You can still turn the pages by clicking "next" with your mouse. But at some points in the story, you can also follow red links to learn more about the people or discoveries the researchers make. If you follow these paths, you will see actual photographs from project lead coffins. Just click "Back to the Story" to return to the main story. You also might notice some words are in bold letters. Rollover bold words to see a definition. Finally, near the end of the story you will have to use the clues to figure out who was in the coffins. So read carefully, and enjoy the story!
© 2021 Maryland Public Television. All Rights Reserved.