STORY BEHIND MODERN-DAY MUMMY
FOUND IN NYC IN
“SECRETS OF THE DEAD:
THE WOMAN IN THE IRON COFFIN”
Available on DVD December 11
Currently Available on iTunes and Prime Video
Click for a Preview of the Program
Arlington, Va. – October XX, 2018 – PBS Distribution announces the release of
“SECRETS OF THE DEAD: THE WOMAN IN THE IRON COFFIN” available on DVD December 11, 2018. On October 4, 2011, construction workers were shocked to uncover human remains in an abandoned lot in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, New York. So great was the level of preservation, witnesses first assumed they had stumbled upon a recent homicide. Archaeologists were called to the site on October 5, 2011, where they discovered metal fragments, suggesting the woman was buried more than 150 years ago. Forensic analysis, however, revealed a remarkably different story. “THE WOMAN IN THE IRON COFFIN” will be available on DVD ($24.99 SRP) December 11, 2018. The program has a run time of approximately 55 minutes. The program is currently available for download on iTunes and Prime Video.
Forensic archaeologist Scott Warnasch and a team of historians were given access to the site. They discovered, buried in an elaborate and expensive iron coffin, the body of a young African American woman dressed in a long white nightgown with thick, knee-high socks and a hand-crafted comb that held a delicate knit cap on her head.
After examining the body and performing a “virtual” autopsy, Warnasch and the team of historians and scientists studied the 1850 Census of New York City and determined that the remains likely belonged to Martha Peterson, a 26-year-old African American woman who died from smallpox. Peterson was the daughter of John and Jane Peterson, prominent figures in Newtown’s (now Elmhurst), African American community.
Forensic imaging specialist Joe Mullins creates a facial reconstruction of the “Woman in the Iron Coffin” by using a CT scan of the skull, digitally fixing the damaged parts and incorporating age-and-ancestry-appropriate features. In 2016 Peterson was given a proper burial by the Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church of Jackson heights.
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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: THE WOMAN IN THE IRON COFFIN
Street Date: December 11, 2018
Run Time: Approximately 55 minutes on 1 disc
SRP: DVD, $24.99
Format: DVD and Digital