One of many caves in Diros, photographed by Markos Alexandrou.

It is indeed a rare finding from the Neolithic. Two skeletons of what seems to be a couple embracing each other. Found in a cave in Diros on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece.

They were found in excavations at the northern entrance of the Alepotrypa (translates as “Foxhole”) Cave in southern Greece, according to the Greek Archaeological Service

The burial site has remained undisturbed for a very long time. The skeletons have been dated to 3,800 BCE, using the C14 method. And a DNA analysis has also confirmed them to be male and female.

The remains of a couple found in an embrace in the cave of Diros. Credit and Courtesy: Greek Culture Ministry

Archaeological evidence of such “double burials” are rare, and this is among the oldest found, if not the oldest according to Greece’s culture ministry.

The couple was found close to another burial site, also with a male and female, both in fetal positions.

It is known that they died young but the circumstances of their death remain unclear and perhaps they are not a couple but related. Further DNA testing is underway and will probably answer these questions.

The skeletons were actually found in 2013 already, but the find was published just in time for Valentine’s Day this year.

Excavations in Diros has been ongoing on for about five years. The area has been inhabited for 8,000 years.

Greek Ministry of Culture Press Release