These two were in each other’s arms for almost 3,000 years, forever united by their feelings. A honeymoon for eternity literally set in stone. This poetic scene was discovered as archaeological excavations were being carried out in Ukraine.
The skeletons were found around Ternopil, a town in the west of the country or more precisely, close to the village of Petrykiv. In these areas, archaeologists uncovered a tomb dating back to the Bronze Age. Inside were the bodies of two lovers of the Wysocko Culture, a name from a nearby town, where hundreds of tombs had already been unearthed in the past.
The most exceptional thing in this discovery is not so much the identity of the anonymous couple, as the unusual context of their death, as explains Professor Mykola Bandrivsky, specialist in ‘loving couple burials.’
‘It is a unique burial, a man and a woman lying there, hugging each other tight,’
Face to face for eternity
As the scientist explains, the most surprising part of this discovery was the position in which the two bodies were found.
‘Both faces were gazing at each other, their foreheads were touching. The woman was lying on her back, with her right arm she was tenderly hugging the man, her wrist lying on his right shoulder.’
More mysterious still is the position of the woman’s lower limbs.
‘The legs of the woman were bent at the knees – lying on top of the man’s stretched legs,’
It is a set of features that led archaeologists to an unexpected conclusion. According to specialists, it’s possible that the womanvoluntarily laid down to die next to her partner.
Doctor Bandrivsky, director of the Transcarpathian branch of the Rescue Archaeological Service of the Institute of Archeology of Ukraine added:
‘From our point of view, this woman did it voluntarily. Maybe, the woman did not want to live with some other man and get used to some new way of life. So she preferred to pass away with her husband. We suppose such a decision was dictated by her own desire, and her attempt to stay with her beloved one,’
A sacrifice in the name of love
As Doctor Bandrivsky imagined, the woman had to have commited suicide in some way, as it wouldn’t have been possible for someone else to have placed her in such a loving position.
‘She may, for example, have drunk a chalice of poison to make joining her husband easy and painless.’
This presumed act of love, whilst extraordinary, is not unique. The specialist says that she has seen other examples of this.
‘A man holding the hands of a woman, the lips of a man touching forehead of a woman, or the arms of both dead people hugging each other.’
In other countries, similar discoveries have also been made such as two 700-year-old skeletons found hand in hand in the United Kingdom and a pair of 6,000-year-old corpses found hugging in Greece.
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