Skeletons embracing found in a Greek cave
The prehistoric skeletons were positioned curled into the fetal position.A 6,000-year-old romance has been uncovered in a Greek cave as archaeologists unearthed the skeletons of an undisturbed Neolithic couple locked in an embrace, discover.com has reported.
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. The grave also contained broken arrowheads.
Although the pair was originally found in 2014 by a team of archaeologists and speleologists led by George Papathanassopoulos, the Greek Ministry of Culture has recently announced the results of DNA and radio carbon tests. The skeletons were dated to 3,800 B.C. and the DNA analysis confirmed the remains belong to a man and a woman.
“Double burials in an embrace are extremely rare,” the ministry said. “The skeletons of Diros represents one of the oldest, if not the oldest, found to this date,” it added.
Discovered in 1958, the Alepotrypa Cave was used between 6,000 and 3,200 B.C. and served as both a settlement and a cemetery.
Around 3,200 B.C., the entrance collapsed because of a severe earthquake, burying the cave inhabitants alive. Excavations in recent years have yielded the remains of adults, children and even embryos.
The archaeologists also discovered a 13-foot wide crypt, paved with a unique pebble floor. The burial contained dozens of skeletons, along with pottery, beads and a dagger.
The researchers have been so far unable to establish the cause of death of the 5,800-year-old couple.
But the fact that they were buried together in such a position suggests they possibly died at the same time.