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The bodies of the embracing skeletons were discovered on the edge of the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil.

Experts Believe a Bronze Age Woman Willingly Joined Her Husband in the Afterlife

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After 3000 years, their loving embrace is seen by the world. Archaeologists believe that a female who lived in the Bronze Age chose to join her male partner in the afterlife. According to them, the nature of her embrace tells all… 

According to the Daily Mail , autopsy experts have declared it impossible for the woman to have been placed in her loving position if she had been dead and then placed into the grave. That means that the woman chose to die and be buried with her partner.

The skeletons of the pair show they were buried together in a loving embrace. (east2westnews)

The skeletons of the pair show they were buried together in a loving embrace. ( east2westnews)

Although this may seem a drastic choice today, Dr. Mykola Bandrivsky, Director of the Transcarpathian branch of the Rescue Archaeological Service of the Institute of Archeology of Ukraine and an expert on these type of burials, suggested that the woman may have chose to take her life instead of continuing without her husband:

“From our point of view, this women did it voluntarily. We suppose such a decision was dictated only by her own desire, and her attempt to stay with her beloved one. She may, for example, have drunk a chalice of poison to make joining her husband easy and painless. Maybe, the woman did not want to live with some other man, and get used to some new way of life. So she preferred to pass away with her husband.”

Drawing of what the buried couple may have looked like. (East2West News)

Drawing of what the buried couple may have looked like. ( East2West News )

The embracing skeletons were found near Petrykiv village in western Ukraine. Experts have identified them as members of the Bronze Age Vysotskaya (Wysocko) culture. Dr. Bandrivsky has told the media that this prehistoric culture is known for “tender” burials. Some other examples of double graves in the Vysotskaya culture include a man kissing a woman’s forehead, a man holding a woman’s hands, and skeletons embracing each other.

Nonetheless, Bandrivsky has called this recently found burial unique for the loving details, he said:

“It is a unique burial, a man and a woman lying there, hugging each other tight. Both faces were gazing at each other, their foreheads were touching. The woman was lying on her back, with her right arm she was tenderly hugging the man, her wrist lying on his right shoulder. The legs of the woman were bent at the knees - lying on the top of the men's stretched legs. Both the dead humans were clad in bronze decorations, and near the heads was placed some pottery items - a bowl, a jar and three bailers.”

The couple was buried with grave goods such as bronze adornments and pottery. ( east2westnews)

You may be wondering why the archaeologist has referred to the skeletons as the remains of a prehistoric married couple. Well, it seems that marriage was a common element of life in the Vysotskaya culture and it included defined roles for the husband and wife.

The Vysotskaya culture is not the only one to have double burials with sentimental connotations; some other examples of touching burials include: the spooning skeletons who died in Greece 6,000 years ago,  a Medieval couple who were holding hands , the Hasanlu Lovers ( who may not have been lovers at all ), and the “star-crossed” Lovers of Valdaro .

Top Image: The bodies of the embracing skeletons were discovered on the edge of the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil. Source: east2westnews

By Alicia McDermott

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