Eternal love: 6,000-year-old remains of an embracing couple found in Greece

The couple's remains, dated to 3,800 BC, were found curled into the fetal position, as if spooning

Web Desk February 14, 2015
Two skeletons found in central-northern Italy reveal the couple was buried holding hands some 1,500 years ago. Photo Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

Archaeologists have unearthed the undisturbed remains of a 6,000-year-old couple who were found holding hands and spooning in a Greek cave, in what could be the oldest known romance in the world.

According to Discovery, the remains were found in the Alepotrypa, or foxhole, one of the Diros caves in southern Greece, the prehistoric remains were positioned curled into the fetal position, as if spooning each other. While the grave also contained broken arrowheads, it was unclear what had caused the couple's death.

The pair had been originally found in 2014 by George Papathanassopoulos's team of archaeologists and speleologists. But it wasn't until Thursday that the Greek Ministry of Culture announced results of DNA and carbon dating tests. They confirmed that the skeletons were dated to 3800 BC and that the remains belong to a man and a woman.

“Double burials in embrace are extremely rare,” the ministry said. “The skeletons of Diros represent one of the oldest, if not the oldest, found to this date”

The Alepotrypa Cave, first discovered in 1958, is believed to have been inhabited between 6,000 and 3,200 BC. Around 3,200 BC, its entrance collapsed due to severe earthquakes.

Excavations in recent years have yielded the remains of adults, children and even embryos. A 13-foot wide crypt, paved with a unique pebble floor was also discovered. The burial contained dozens of skeletons, along with pottery, beads and a dagger.


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