Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Romeo & Juliet, Neolithic-Style

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is grand. It is the time of year for us to dwell on those significant others in our life and to shell out large sums of money on flowers, chocolate, and expensive shiny things. My kids made some great little cut-outs of hearts with stickers on them for us at daycare yesterday, but I don't think my lovely wife would care for such a gift from me, so I'm getting something a little more expensive to express my undying love for her. Of course, my intentions are partly selfish. I'm expecting chocolate. But I don't expect it to stop there – hubba hubba.

I invite you to read about the history of Valentine's Day, starting with Saint Valentine and how, prior to being put to death by the Roman emperor Claudius, he sent the first Valentine's letter to his beloved, the daughter of his jailor!

http://www.history.com/minisites/valentine/viewPage?pageId=882

Valentine's Day has been celebrated since the late 1300's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine's_Day

Well, as you are wondering about the best way to express your love, roaming through the mall to find the right little gift, or perusing the Hallmark isle, think about a more eternal sort of love expression: dying together and being buried in a loving pose, arms intertwined, staring into each other's eyes, so you can be found up to 6,000 years later in such a condition:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/02/07/prehistoric.love.ap/index.html

Another article: http://www.physorg.com/news90589132.html

Yes, my little lovebirds, how could you possibly top that? It isn't known yet how this young couple died. Disease? Catastrophe? Apparently it wasn't uncommon in those Neolithic times in that region that, if the man died, his wife would be put to death and buried with him. Lovely! But there is no evidence that this is what happened in this case. For today, at least, we will assume a more pleasant ending, eh? DNA testing will determine if they were related, and further analysis of the bones may reveal cause of death. Buried along with them were some arrowheads and a small knife.

Where else would you expect such a romantic burial but Italy? Along with France, Italy is often considered one of the most romantic of nations. The dead couple were found near Mantua, Italy, which just happens to be only 25 miles south of Verona, setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet"!

The archaeologists who are excavating the site will remove the pair in one, large, undisturbed form, preserving them in this unique burial position so that they may remain models of undying love.

Sigh.

4 comments:

toomanytribbles said...

DNA testing will determine their sex as well... i read somewhere that they may have possibly been at each other's necks thereby killing each other.

did i ruin it for ya?

Maggie said...

toomanytribbles beat me to it. I was going to point out that it looks as though one might be trying to choke the other. Of course, they could still be a couple in that instance...

DSB said...

Hey, I referenced the same story on my blog along with two other random science-y stories . . .

http://rhizomes.blogspot.com/

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