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A Lasting Committment
February 6, 2007 11:37 PM   Subscribe

[ImageFilter] The Neolithic embrace. Happy pre-Valentine's Day.
posted by digaman (54 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let's see, it's midnight now and my choice is either to go to sleep and have nightmares about this freaking image, or lie awake thinking about it all night. Thanks!
posted by tula at 12:13 AM on February 7, 2007


Wow, somehow this moved me very deeply. Thank you.
posted by Glow Bucket at 12:21 AM on February 7, 2007


Awwww, isn't that sweet!

There's a painting by Beksinski that looks like this.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:36 AM on February 7, 2007


. ♥
posted by orthogonality at 12:38 AM on February 7, 2007


Seconds until someone uses this for a valentines day card 5....4....3..

I don't find this creepy at all, though the cynic in me does wonder if they're not embracing but killing each other.
posted by leibniz at 12:42 AM on February 7, 2007


Or simply just doing whatever they can to keep from dying of cold. But that works as a metaphor for what we're trying to get at after all.
posted by ScotchLynx at 2:03 AM on February 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Cool! Really interesting. Reminds me of Etruscan sarcophagi.
posted by brundlefly at 2:20 AM on February 7, 2007


Get a tomb!
posted by Ritchie at 2:47 AM on February 7, 2007 [28 favorites]


Everlasting sweetness...
posted by 0of1 at 2:57 AM on February 7, 2007


They're choking each other!
posted by eriko at 3:06 AM on February 7, 2007


Heh, glad I'm not the only one, leibniz.
posted by dreamsign at 3:08 AM on February 7, 2007


Reminded me of Larkin's An Arundel Tomb in terms of what appear to be gestures of love from the past and what we make of them.
posted by paduasoy at 3:32 AM on February 7, 2007


Being buried together (especially in that pose) suggest dying together. Some tragedy befell these two, methinks.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:51 AM on February 7, 2007


suggestS THAT THEY DIED together. Jesus what an ugly sentence.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:54 AM on February 7, 2007


Sha la la la laaa
posted by shokod at 3:57 AM on February 7, 2007


Hoax.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:02 AM on February 7, 2007


I can't wait until it comes out that they're both men.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:25 AM on February 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She's gone to heaven, so I got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.

posted by sourwookie at 5:12 AM on February 7, 2007


Or to be extra-maudlin:

Since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.
posted by sourwookie at 5:32 AM on February 7, 2007


"Your wife sure sears up a mean mastodon, Gorg."
"I'll say. I even polished off the junk in the trunk. Speaking of which..."
"Oh you caveman you. But she never took a bite herself. Do you- do you think she knows?"
"Please, I told her I was hunting and you were gathering. Besides, she's so wrapped up in that crazy 'agriculture' scheme of hers she'll never notice we're...." *yawn*
"So...sleepy... alluva sudden..."
"Just... a.. lil' cuddle... nap...."

.
posted by maryh at 6:08 AM on February 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


I can't quite place it but I think there's a Cutting Crew song in here somewhere..
posted by sourwookie at 6:14 AM on February 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow!
Fantastic find, digaman.
Too bad the images are so small.

And thanks fleetmouse for the Beksinski painting.
posted by bru at 6:21 AM on February 7, 2007


...don't you wanna feel my bones, on your bones, it's only natural...
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:24 AM on February 7, 2007


The Reuters article notes the couple is "almost certainly a man and a woman although that needs to be confirmed".
posted by Nelson at 6:43 AM on February 7, 2007


My other skeleton would be a man's, but that image doesn't depend on gender. There's something about the way the skulls "regard" each other -- even after 6000 years -- that suggests a kind of sentience all longtime couples know.
posted by digaman at 6:49 AM on February 7, 2007


Married, buried
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

All in all is all we are...
posted by yeti at 7:02 AM on February 7, 2007


It sure does fire up the imagination. It's a great picture. Thanks- I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by puddinghead at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2007


I heard this story on the radio this morning. They said, but I haven't seen confirmed elsewhere, that the people were victims of arrow wounds.
posted by AstroGuy at 7:53 AM on February 7, 2007


There's such a gentleness about their embrace... Even though the subjects are long-dead, the picture feels full of emotional life.
posted by amyms at 8:17 AM on February 7, 2007


Incredible shot, thanks digaman.

On another note, how do you get a heart on like that, ortho?
posted by Mister_A at 8:21 AM on February 7, 2007


victims of arrow wounds

and a very dusty box of chocolates

I would totally try one
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:01 AM on February 7, 2007


Wow. Deep image. Poignant.

Reminds me of the Pompei bodies and also of this Alex Gray painting.
posted by nickyskye at 9:31 AM on February 7, 2007


I can't find it online, but apparently the Daily Mirror suggests that the female may have been killed to accompany the male.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:37 AM on February 7, 2007


This is taking "lesbian bed death" a bit too far.

OR

Reminds me of my first marriage!

AND...

But the guy hogged all the earth and she's been freezing her ass of for centuries!

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week!
posted by GuyZero at 9:41 AM on February 7, 2007


I can't find it online, but apparently the Daily Mirror suggests that the female may have been killed to accompany the male.

And just how on earth would they determine such a thing?

The grave's a fine and private place/but none, I think, do there embrace.... In your face, Donne!

On the other hand: Even the dead are getting more action than I am these days. Sigh.
posted by jokeefe at 10:03 AM on February 7, 2007


And just how on earth would they determine such a thing?

It was part of the cuneiform prenup, which they found in clay just feet from the bones.
posted by digaman at 10:13 AM on February 7, 2007


Mister_A - [ALT]+3 on Windows. Unicode shortcut for the symbol. Or, 9829; for the web version.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2007


Damn. Preview looked fine, borked on post. The ampersand is being stripped out of it no matter what I do: Code should be "[ampersand]#9829;".
posted by caution live frogs at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


In your face, Donne!

Isn't that Marvell?
posted by Mocata at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2007


Get a tomb!

Classic.
posted by digaman at 10:36 AM on February 7, 2007


"On another note, how do you get a heart on like that, ortho?"

Different people get "heart ons" by different things Mister A.


I'll tell you more when you're older...
posted by stenseng at 10:44 AM on February 7, 2007


Marvell it is!
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:45 AM on February 7, 2007


Now, that's true love.

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four...thousand

posted by Midnight Creeper at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2007


And just how on earth would they determine such a thing?

Heh. True. Yet in a world where women were (and in some places, still are) considered property of her spouse, I wouldn't be surprised. (Although I suppose a young widow would have value....)

What if they are brother and sister? Eeeeeeeeew....
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:05 AM on February 7, 2007


What if they are brother and sister? Eeeeeeeeew....

Who knew that this archaeological artifact would prove so useful as a psychological Rorschach blot?
posted by digaman at 11:23 AM on February 7, 2007


In your face, Donne!

Isn't that Marvell?


Crap. You win.

Yet in a world where women were (and in some places, still are) considered property of her spouse, I wouldn't be surprised. (Although I suppose a young widow would have value....)

And how do you know that this Neolithic culture was one which considered women property? I'm just saying that there's a lot being assumed here about social structures that as far as I can tell there's little evidence for. If anything, just going by the image of the skeletons, they're in equal relationship, forehead to forehead, no?

digaman, you're right, Rorschach blot indeed.
posted by jokeefe at 11:31 AM on February 7, 2007


jokeefe: And just how on earth would they determine such a thing?

Well, in many cases where this is claimed, you have obvious signs of violent death by one grave member and not the other: bound hands, perimortem bone trauma caused by weapons, weapon fragments. Another bit of evidence supporting this hypothesis is whether you have one or two paired burials, or several. Also, is one member of the pair obviously of much higher status than the other?

The other side of the coin is that perimortem and postmortem bone damage can be tricky to interpret. I read at least one study that found European burials of a certain period had many of the same marks that have been interpreted as ritual canibalism in other cultures. During the dark ages some groups would flay and dismember bodies to transport the bones back to family crypts.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2007


5 thousand years in the soil, maintaining that embrace, in a ... sacred position. Then someone's digging a parking garage and boom, they're in the sunlight. The bones get carted off to a museum and repositioned in a display case, just so, perhaps suspended on wires in air so people can see them from all sides. I suppose this couple's destiny wasn't to rest forever at peace, but to edify their descendants about the way things once were. Still seems like a shame to disinter the dead.

Still and all, how many graves will never be found and opened, giving their occupants the chance to truly lie at rest for eternity?
posted by lostburner at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2007


and they said it wouldn't last
posted by Cranberry at 12:00 PM on February 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


One Skeleton Embracing Another
posted by ScotchLynx at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rorschach? Well, my first thought was of the following lyric:

I did my time
In the jail of your arms
- Tom Waits

(Yeah, I'm a bitter fellow. I refuse to apologize...)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:06 PM on February 7, 2007


*makes a note wishing to be buried with a bucket of KFC, just to fuck with some future Dr. Jones.
posted by ColdChef at 1:06 PM on February 7, 2007


just to fuck with some future Dr. Jones.

If that's the plan, I'm going to bribe some medical student to get me 3 or 4 extra legs to get put in with me.
posted by GuyZero at 1:43 PM on February 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Cromagnon.
posted by obvious at 4:41 PM on February 7, 2007


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