Here is one of the sweetest stories to come across the front page of the newspaper in a long time. Not far from Mantua, Italy, the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this neolithic couple who lived over 5000 years ago were found on their sides holding each other, a very unique find in that period. “Double burials in the Neolithic are unheard of and these are even hugging.” Menotti, the Italian archaeologist who led the dig said.
This period in history was a formative time for the human race as we first settled in villages, developed farming techniques, and began taming animals. Although the find was not conclusive scientifically it carries real emotional value. It confirms that the relationships that people had with each other as well as with death have not changed all that much.
This is a lovely and timely reminder that we have not strayed so far from our roots. Our need to be loved and feel connected is, I believe, what makes us most deeply human. Our capacity, and indeed our need to love and be loved is the source of most of life’s goodness.
Even though I am not generally fond of skeletons, this image feels profoundly tender and affirms for me the power of keeping our promises to love. This find feels like a true Valentine sent to us from our beginnings, whispering over eons the power of love that transcends all time.