Archaeologists Find Prehistoric Lovers Locked in Embrace for 6,000 Years

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered a rare burial of a prehistoric couple positioned in an embrace in the coastal Diros caves. Courtesy Greek Culture Ministry

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a rare archaeological find proves that the Bangles were right: love’s flames are eternal. The Greek Culture Ministry announced that archaeologists have discovered the skeletons of a couple positioned as if spooning each other. The prehistoric remains were unearthed in the cave of Diros in the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece, estimated to have been populated as early as 6,000 BC.

“Double burials in embrace are extremely rare, and that of Diros is one of the oldest in the world, if not the oldest found to this date,” the ministry said. Scientists carbon-dated the crypt to 3,800 BC, and DNA tests confirmed that the skeletal remains belong to a young male and female, though their respective ages were not specified.

The excavation of the burial site lasted five years and was completed in 2014. Other remains were found in the four-meter-wide burial crypt, including those of an infant and a fetus, and an ossuary containing dozens of skeletons, along with pottery, beads, and a dagger.

The ossuary is considered “unique” for its era, because of its unusual pebble floor. “We can safely assume that this area operated in the collective memory of these groups as a place to deposit their dead over thousands of years,” the ministry said.

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