Lovers of Valdaro

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The Lovers of Valdaro in Italy. male skeleton is on the left, and the female skeleton is on the right.

The Lovers of Valdaro, also known as the "Valdaro Lovers," are a pair of human skeletons dated as approximately 6,000 years old.[1] They were discovered by archaeologists at a Neolithic tomb in San Giorgio near Mantua, Italy, in 2007.[2][3] The two individuals were buried face to face with their arms around each other, in a position reminiscent of a "lovers' embrace".

Archaeologist Elena Maria Menotti led the excavation. The pair are a male and female no older than 20 years old at death and approximately 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) in height.[4][5][6][7] The male skeleton was found with a flint arrowhead near the neck. The female had a long flint blade along the thigh, plus two flint knives under the 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.[8]

The skeletons were displayed briefly in public for the first time in September 2011 at the National Archaeological Museum of Mantua, thanks to the effort of the association Lovers in Mantua which was seeking a permanent home for the ancient couple.[9][10]

Seven years after their discovery, on 11 April 2014, they were permanently displayed inside a glass case in the museum, which is within the perimeter of the Ducal palace of Mantua.[4][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ La Stampa / Worldcrunch (September 13, 2011). "6,000 Years Later, the 'Lovers of Valdaro' Need a New Home". Time. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. 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. ^ a b "The Eternal Lovers of Valdaro". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  5. ^ "Eternal Embrace - Archaeology Magazine Archive". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  6. ^ a b Stampa, La (2011-09-13). "6,000 Years Later, the 'Lovers of Valdaro' Need a New Home". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  7. ^ "The Lovers of Valdaro: for 6,000 years, a pair of skeletons had been locked in an eternal embrace". The Vintage News. 2017-04-09. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  8. ^ "Neolithic lovers seek new home". September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  9. ^ "6,000-Year-Old Lovers Make Debut In Italy". September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  10. ^ "Locked in Eternal Embrace – The Lovers of Valdaro". November 28, 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-11.