View Full Version : Scientists to save 5,000-year-old embrace

02-13-2007, 02:45 AM

By Phil Stewart
Mon Feb 12, 9:53 AM ET

In a Valentine's Day gift to the country, scientists said they are determined to remove and preserve together the remains of a couple buried 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, their arms still wrapped around each other in an enduring embrace.

Instead of removing the bones one-by-one for reassembly later, archaeologists plan to scoop up the entire section of earth where the couple was buried, they told Reuters.

The plot will then be transported for study before being put on display in an Italian museum, thereby preserving the world's longest known hug for posterity.

"We want to keep can them just as they have been all this time -- together," archaeologist Elena Menotti, who announced the discovery a week ago, told Reuters.

Their removal will be a relief for archaeologists who had to hire extra security to guard the rural site outside the northern city of Mantova after the discovery made world headlines.

02-13-2007, 02:48 AM
Aww how sweet...Ghey

02-13-2007, 02:50 AM
Umm... why?

02-13-2007, 02:54 AM
From same article...


More importantly, it will give scientists a chance to figure out what was has become one of Italian archaeology's greatest mysteries: the first known Neolithic couple to be buried together, hugging.

Was it a sudden death? A ritual sacrifice? Or maybe they were prehistoric, star-crossed lovers who took their own lives.

That is a crowd-pleasing theory in these parts, since Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was set in nearby Verona.

But scientists acknowledge they still know precious little about the now-famous Stone Age couple, whose embrace has become a subject of world newspaper headlines and chat shows.

Italians dubbed them the "Lovers of Valdaro" after the Mantova suburb of farmland and factories. But even their gender is a open question until scientists confirm the theory that they were a man and a woman.

Archaeologists seem certain the couple died young, since their teeth are intact and that they died during the Stone Age because of an arrowhead and tools found with the remains.

But new evidence indicates the couple were not alone and that the remains may have left been near a Stone Age settlement.

02-13-2007, 02:55 AM
And lastly...


Archaeologists on site showed Reuters photographs of another skeleton found nearby, suggesting the couple were in some sort of prehistoric burial ground.

While the single body was buried East-West, possibly following the daily path of the sun across the sky, the Stone Age couple were buried "the wrong way."

"They were buried North-South, and we don't know why," said archaeologist Daniela Castagna, standing over the grave site.

John Robb, lecturer at Cambridge University and an expert in Neolithic Italian remains, says the trouble with the Stone Age couple is the singularity of the find -- which makes it difficult to explain using known historic data.

He said Neolithic burials are almost always single burials.

"There are a couple of mass burials. There are couple of examples of heads being found under houses. And then, about one burial in every 20 or 30 sites is completely unique," he said.

"And these are probably things that have strange ritual circumstances of one kind or another."

But until scientists get a closer look at the bones, all anyone has are loose theories.

The discovery generated Internet conspiracy theories with some taking a darker interpretation of the hugging skeletons.

One reader on AOL, said it was absurd to assume "this couple is in eternal bliss."

"Maybe it is eternal hatred that had them locked together in a death grip," wrote another reader.

Other people have called for the couple to be left alone -- something that Italian archaeologists say would leave the remains vulnerable to looters, vandals and even bad weather.

There is also a practical reason, the owner of the land hopes to soon build warehouses on it.

"We say rest in peace -- unless you're dead long enough to be interesting," wrote another reader, Jim Noonan.

02-13-2007, 03:07 AM
I'm gonna laugh if it's two dudes.

02-13-2007, 03:08 AM
I'm gonna laugh if it's two dudes.
Wouldn't they have been spooning instead of embracing, then?

02-13-2007, 03:14 AM
It was probably some pervert who seen a mud slide coming for him and grabbed the first chick he could and started dry humping her.

02-13-2007, 03:16 AM
Not according to gc......

02-13-2007, 03:21 AM
I could have posted this one....

Could I Have Two Valentines?
What to do when deciding which of two people is your soul mate.

By Thomas Moore

Dear Thomas,

What if a person thinks he has more than one soul mate and is having difficulty picking the one whom he wants to spend his life with-and each soul mate has different attributes about them that he loves. How to decide? -- Tom

Dear Tom,
At a certain point in life, many of us find ourselves in the difficult situation of loving two people and feeling the need to choose one over the other. The situation can be torture, and anyone can feel torn apart. I don't mean to take anything away from your feelings, but your language hints at a solution. You sound as though you're standing back and judging these people. I suspect that if you let yourself get closer to each of them, the choice would be made for you. As a therapist, I listen closely to the words people use. When you use the word "picking," my ears prick up. The way I imagine a deep soul connection, love picks you and your partner. The "soul" part of soul mate is the depth of the connection. It goes beyond reason and control and seems to be ordained by fate. Maybe you need to take more time to be involved with these people and let a decision emerge. If you really are soul mates, you should be able to talk with enough honesty and depth to know what to do. If you yourself acted like a soul mate, you would describe the situation as two people together making a decision, not one sizing up the other. You have to ease up on your desire to know everything and to be in control-so you'll see the signs of real love. When you make the shift from being fully in charge to letting life happen, you'll discover how to be-and have-a soul mate.
Thomas Moore is an author, psychotherapist, lecturer, and Beliefnet.com relationships columnist who has published many books and articles in the areas of archetypal and Jungian psychology, religion, mythology, relationships, and the arts. Moore lived as a monk in a Catholic religious order for thirteen years. A former professor of psychology, he has a Ph.D. in religious studies, an M.A. in theology, and an M.A. in musicology. He lives in New England with his wife, the artist Joan Hanley, and their two children. He is on the web at careofthesoul.net

02-13-2007, 07:01 AM
Wouldn't they have been spooning instead of embracing, then?

Well, they WERE cavemen. Maybe they didn't quite have the mechanics down then.

02-13-2007, 07:19 AM
I'm pretty sure this sort of discovery was quite common in Pompeii. I seem to remember seeing several dwellings that had people embraced and parents holding/covering their children, protecting them from the ash.

02-13-2007, 07:28 AM
Could have just been two people thrown in the same grave. Easier to dig one hole then two.

02-13-2007, 07:40 AM
I'm sure it was the womens idea.