In 2007, at a Neolithic tomb in San Giorgio near Mantua, Italy, archaeologists made a fascinating discovery – the Lovers of Valdaro. Also called the Valdaro Lovers, the pair of skeletons is believed to date back approximately 6,000 years. The two skeletons, locked in eternal embrace, appear to have been buried facing each other.
Archaeologist Elena Maria Menotti led the excavation of the skeletons. According to her team’s findings, the pair are male and female, not older than 20 years old, and about 5’2″ (157 cm) in height. Menotti decided that the couple should not be separated and that their unique position should be preserved. And so during the excavation, the team dug up the block of earth in which the skeletons were found and placed them in a box.
The Lovers of Valdaro were discovered in San Giorgio near Mantua, Italy, in 2007.
The male skeleton was discovered with a flint arrowhead near the neck, while the female skeleton had a long flint blade along the thigh and two flint knives under the pelvis. Researchers say these items were most likely buried with the two people as grave goods since there were no signs of violent death like fractures and microtrauma.
The pair of skeletons are believed to be of a male and a female person no older than 20 years old.
It is strongly believed that the pair was buried facing each other. But what’s fascinating is that during the Neolithic period, where it is believed they belong, double burials were very uncommon. This makes the Valdaro Lovers’ position very unique. They are the only case of double burial discovered in Northern Italy. From the site of their discovery, the Lovers of Valdaro were sent to the Musei Civici in Como.
They have been locked in embrace for 6,000 years.
In September 2011, the Lovers of Valdaro were briefly displayed in public for the first time at the entrance of Mantua’s Archaeological Museum. An association called Lovers in Mantua is seeking a permanent home for the two skeletons. The organization’s president, professor Silvia Bagnoli, has been actively campaigning for the two ancient lovers to have a permanent exhibit of their own.
Their position was preserved even after excavation.
According the professor, around €250,000 can cover the Lovers of Valdaro’s own exhibition center, and an additional €200,000 could be used for a multimedia space through which people can learn of the ancient lovers’ story.
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