Lovers of Valdaro

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Lovers of Valdaro's skeletons in Italy

The so-called Lovers of Valdaro, also dubbed as the "Valdaro Lovers," are a pair of human skeletons dating back 6,000 years[1] discovered by archaeologists at a Neolithic tomb in San Giorgio near Mantua, Italy, in 2007.[2][3] The two skeletons appear to have died or were interred facing each other with arms around each other, thus reminiscent of a "lovers' embrace".

Archaeologist Elena Maria Menotti led the excavation.[4] Scientists think that the pair is a man and woman no older than 20 years old and approximately 5'2" (157 cm) in height.

The male skeleton was found with a flint arrowhead near his neck. The female had a long flint blade along her thigh, plus two flint knives under her pelvis. Osteological examination found no evidence of violent death, no fractures, and no microtrauma, so the most likely explanation is the flint tools were buried along with the people as grave goods.[5] Given their discovery in a necropolis, it’s unlikely that they died by accident while hugging, to keep warm during a freezing night, for instance. They were found embracing because they were positioned that way after death.

The skeletons were displayed briefly in public for the first time in September 2011 at the entrance of Mantua's Archaeological Museum, thanks to the effort of the association "Lovers in Mantua" which is seeking a permanent home for the ancient couple.[6]

Professor Silvia Bagnoli, the president of the association “Lovers in Mantua,” has been campaigning for their right to have a permanent exhibit of their own.[7]

According to Bagnoli, €250,000 will be enough for an exhibition center and another €200,000 could pay for a multimedia space to tell the world the mysterious story of these prehistoric lovers.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ La Stampa / Worldcrunch (September 13, 2011). "6,000 Years Later, the 'Lovers of Valdaro' Need a New Home". Time. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  2. ^ Phil Stewart (February 12, 2007). "Scientists to save 5,000-year-old embrace". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Prehistoric skeletons found locked in eternal embrace". February 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  4. ^ "Locked in an eternal embrace". Daily Mail. February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Neolithic lovers seek new home". September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  6. ^ "6,000-Year-Old Lovers Make Debut In Italy". September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Locked in Eternal Embrace – The Lovers of Valdaro". November 28, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  8. ^ "6,000 Years Later, the 'Lovers of Valdaro' Need a New Home". September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-11.