The Lovers of Valdaro
The 5000 year embrace.
5000 years, where does the time go? I know this couple was in the news a week ago, I figured if they could wait 5000 years, they could wait another week to be blogged about on Valentine’s Day. This Neolithic (late stone age) couple was excavated in Northern Italy, exactly as they were buried fifty centuries ago. Before the Pyramids, before Stonehenge, possibly even before taxes…though that’s unlikely. It’s a very unusual burial, unique in fact. They were young, that much we know since their teeth were in good shape. And that’s about all scientists can say right now, in fact it’s not even certain that they were male and female. Eep.
Oddly enough, they were found near the town of Verona…where Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet dwelt. That and the fact that they appear to be in a loving embrace has fuelled much speculation. Young lovers who died in a tragic accident? Star crossed lovers who committed suicide together? We don’t know and we may never know, but it’s still a wonderful find. All we know for sure is that they were buried in what to almost everyone in history then and hence would regard as a loving embrace.
Even better, it was announced today that they will remain together and not be removed bone by bone as is usually the case in archaeological excavations. Scientists have feelings too, though having to guard the site 24/7 from looters and the curious figured in the decision as well. The couple will be removed intact and preserved as they were buried. There was some call to leave them in place, but apparently it wasn’t practical due to development to occur on the site. 5000 years is longer than most people get to lay in their graves, especially in Europe, so I’m sure they would understand.
It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that even our stone age ancestors had a romantic side. I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day. And for the record ladies: I’m single, intelligent, handsome, rich…and sometimes prone to exaggeration. ;)
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is an historically important image, and it is central to illustrating the post.)