Friday, February 09, 2007

Romeo and Juliet's Skeletal Embrace

Two young lovers buried five-thousand years ago in Mantua, outside Verona, demonstrate how the dead celebrated Valentine's Day three-thousand years before Saint Valentine:
The pair, almost certainly a man and a woman, are thought to have died young as their teeth were mostly intact, said chief archaeologist Elena Menotti.

The burial site was discovered on Monday during construction work for a factory building.

"It's an extraordinary case," said Ms Menotti. "There has not been a double burial found in the Neolithic period, much less two people hugging - and they really are hugging," she told Reuters news agency.
Link (via BoingBoing). As the Associated Press points out, the young lovers' location is quite the coincidence:
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua, just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic Italian city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet.

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