Valentine's Day Archaeology
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 city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of
"Romeo and Juliet."
Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed
to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their
teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the
dig. "As far as we know, it's unique," Menotti told The Associated Press by
telephone from Milan. "Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and
these are even hugging."
Experts will now study the artifacts and the skeletons to determine the
burial site's age and how old the two were when they died, she said.
The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides,
were probably buried at the same time, possibly an indication of sudden and
tragic death another expert has speculated.