True Love
November 4, 2011 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Archeologists in Italy have found a pair of skeletons, who were buried holding hands.

The skeletons are thought to date to the Roman era.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (39 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
mmm... to me they look like the first people ever buried while arm wrestling
posted by greenhornet at 4:22 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Turns out they died in a crash after running someone over with their chariot.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:24 PM on November 4, 2011 [36 favorites]


It is an interesting question of how they might have died at nearly the same time, to be buried together. Disease seems the most likely reason to me.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:28 PM on November 4, 2011


1. Love
2. Bad berries/necrophelia
3. Human chain gone wrong
4. Here help me out of the waaaaaaaaaaaaaa crocodile!
5. Here can you touch my hand does it feel like plague?
posted by jimmythefish at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


What will survive of us is love.
posted by Abiezer at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2011 [15 favorites]


I once read of a couple buried next to one another. A tree grew between the two graves. The point of the story way that their mortal remains were now partially mixed together in the substance of the tree.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


A mutual suicide is also possible, I guess.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:36 PM on November 4, 2011


definitely a viral marketing ploy.
posted by indubitable at 4:46 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I once buried a pregnant woman and her four year old child together. I pity the future archeologist who unearths them.
posted by ColdChef at 4:48 PM on November 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think ColdChef deserves special dispensation to have his username come before his comment.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:50 PM on November 4, 2011 [52 favorites]


There was also this find of a 5000 year old pair of embracing skeletons.
posted by joost de vries at 4:52 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]




Buried alive.
posted by Max Power at 5:18 PM on November 4, 2011


What did holding hands mean in Roman culture? I assume that—as in some Arab countries where it is perfectly normal for adult men to hold hands—any meaning we place upon it could be wrong.
posted by Jehan at 5:23 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Such a beautiful, touching discovery, and 3 of the first 4 posts are Fark-worthy snarks.

Sigh.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:34 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The one one the right is the woman; she has a classic gynecoid pelvic shape.
posted by Renoroc at 5:40 PM on November 4, 2011


Jehan - spending eternity holding hands with another body has had the same meaning throughout all of human history, I suspect.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:41 PM on November 4, 2011


I think you're overestimating Fark. Those are all MeFi worthy snark, certainly.
posted by auto-correct at 5:42 PM on November 4, 2011


What's striking about this story is that even 1500 years ago, Duke still sucked.
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:46 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


IAmBroom—I don't doubt it's likely, but I just want to sound a note of caution.
posted by Jehan at 5:47 PM on November 4, 2011


Interesting, Renoroc - they have the same "gazing at her husband while he looks forward" pose that I've come to expect in many medieval brasses and sarcophagus sculptures.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:48 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Illness? Old age? Suicide by the one left behind?

One would assume that their children (or whoever buried them) would have cared to see them placed that way; that it mattered.

It also implies no coffins, and no sarcophagi; they were not wealthy?

Wish I knew more about Roman culture of that period...
posted by jrochest at 6:03 PM on November 4, 2011


ColdChef: "I once buried a pregnant woman and her four year old child together. I pity the future archeologist who unearths them."

Multiple inhumations in single graves aren't too uncommon in prehistory, so there's lots of theory and practice on how to handle such situations. A mature woman with a young child probably won't present any challenges from a technical standpoint, but it will create interesting questions for researchers as such things are fairly rare these days in the US.

So don't pity the future archaeologists too much. They can handle it.
posted by barnacles at 6:40 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


They should name them Gary and Melissa (nsfw spoken word audio).

Buried alive.
There is no way I can read that phrase and not hear it in Ricardo Montalban's voice.

On a more serious note, perhaps the exact opposite of the photo of the couple in the linked article, would be of this poor fellow of Pompeii, whose fate always affected me deeply as a somber monument to the loneliest person in the world.
posted by chambers at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The skeletal remains of a Roman-era couple reveal the pair has been holding hands for 1,500 years"

That's exactly the way it felt the first time I held hands with a girl at the movie...for 1/2 hour...which felt like 1,500 years while our hands melted in sweat and fused together.

And, I want/don't want to hear the rest of ColdChef's Story.
posted by HuronBob at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


chambers--not to nitpick or anything, but why do you see that pose as emblematic of someone who might be 'the loneliest person in the world'? I see someone who is solitary, yes, but someone who is appealing to their faith (maybe) or at least in some kind of state where clasping their hands together feels appropriate or necessary. Why does that translate, to you, as ultimate loneliness?

Genuine question--I'm curious if there is more to this story, or if there is more to your interpretation (even if it's just your own sense of the situation).
posted by nonmerci at 7:06 PM on November 4, 2011


i'm pretty sure there is a picture floating around somewhere (i seem to recall seeing it in a textbook in HS) of two skeletons in an embrace. anyone know what i'm talking about?
posted by operator at 7:13 PM on November 4, 2011


Genuine question

I guess it's subjective, it's just that when I first learned of Pompeii and saw the remains of people and the 'people holes' that were filled in with plaster, that one in particular seemed different. Most of the other victims that were found were in groups or families and such. Each one was frozen in a moment: fighting to breathe, to hold on to a loved one, or just to huddle together in fear. This guy died alone. Without fully knowing or understanding what was happening, and all the buildup over the previous days, that guy died alone.

We don't know whether he is covering his airway to block the dust, or actually praying. In a way it doesn't matter, as his last moment was knowing he was not going to be saved by god nor man, and his form has been frozen in that last moment of realization ever since. And that is what strikes me as lonely.

One could interpret it in many ways: as a religious final act of piety, as a ironic, nihilistic mockery of religious beliefs, maybe just an example of what happens to people who have the wrong religious beliefs, or just a guy in pain, whatever.

That image pops into my head every few years, and I think about how I interpret it, and why I think that way as opposed to other times in my life. I've had different interpretations at different times in my life, but it really comes down to how one faces death, I suppose. The way my answers of how and why change over time intrigues me, and is an interesting bellwether for whatever my current mindset is at that point in my life.
posted by chambers at 7:55 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


My last post did come off a bit morbid, but perhaps to put it into context, I also put the same amount of self-analysis into how I interpret movies like, say, Krull or Last Year at Marienbad, or episodes of the TV (old) show The Prisoner, or even Chico and the Man, for example. I guess it's a bit of a narcissistic hobby, but it keeps me open to new ideas.
posted by chambers at 8:16 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


>two skeletons in an embrace

Alex Grey?
posted by scruss at 8:25 PM on November 4, 2011


Skeletons in an embrace.
posted by stebulus at 9:20 PM on November 4, 2011


I'd like to hear your thoughts on Krull.
posted by stebulus at 9:21 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look, this is my side of the crypt, and I don't want you touchin' on me on my side of the crypt.

What?

I...this is my side, man. And I don't want your bones, touchin' on my bones!

What are you talkin' about?

I''m not playin' with you, man. This is my side!

Your side?

I don't want you touchin' me.

I'm not touchin' you!

You are so! Look...your metacarpal is touchin' my metacarpal right there!

Well how come all of a sudden it's gotta be your side of the crypt and you don't want nobody touchin' you?

Because you told Theodisius that I ate an extra bowl of Globuli, and I had already eaten one, and he made me get up from the feast.

Yeah, well you already had five Globuli earlier in the day and Theodisius didn't know anything about it! I was afraid they were gonna take mine away!

Well who told you, that you were the one goin' around, the big Globuli prefect of da house?

Mom did!

...

I don't want you touchin' me on my side of the crypt.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:01 PM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Umm can I have some stats on how many skeletons are unearthed with the ribs holding two skeletons together.

I mean thats what two bodies do when you put them in one grave; the bones interlock.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2011


Ok. ColdChef and Scarabic? Yes, you two. Opposite sides of the room. Now.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:57 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd like to hear your thoughts on Krull.

Wow. I never thought in my life I would ever hear someone ask that question to me. It's like getting a surprise present I always wanted but never thought actually existed. I probably could pontificate about it for far longer than anyone could reasonably tolerate. So to keep this derail of mine at a minimum, a mefi mail will have to do.
posted by chambers at 1:50 AM on November 5, 2011


The skeletons are thought to date to the Roman era.

Look, they were just holding hands. Let's not assume they were dating.
posted by Legomancer at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dude on the left seems to be, ahem, enjoying himself.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:16 PM on November 5, 2011


I am reminded of this poem: Quarantine by Eavan Boland.
posted by pleasebekind at 9:40 AM on November 6, 2011


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