'Romeo and Juliet' Skeletons with Hands Clasped Discovered by Romanian Archaeologists

First Posted: Apr 25, 2013 04:20 AM EDT

A team of archaeologists from the Archaeology Institute and the Cluj National History Museum have uncovered an extraordinary tale of love preserved in a set of male and female skeletons holding hands, while investigating the site of a former Dominican monastery in Cluj, reports Romania Insider.

The skeletons, which were buried together with their hands clasped for eternity, were dubbed as Romeo and Juliet by the Romanian archaeology team. According to the archaeologists, the couple might have existed between 1450 and 1550 AD. The estimation was provided based on the position of the medieval grave and the closeness to the monastery. The excavation was a part of the restoration project conducted at the medieval monastery.

Apart from these two skeletons, several other graves from that period were discovered in the courtyard of the monastery, says lead archaeologist Adrian Rusu.

The discovery comes just in time for the birthday of the most renowned poet and playwright William Shakespeare, author of the classic romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The skeleton couple, however, met with a tragic end of their lives around 50-150 years before Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, reports IB Times.  

"The remains belonged to a young couple of around 30 years of age, a man and a woman buried together, facing each other and holding hands. It's a strange case, a sort of Romeo and Juliet. The man appears to have died in an accident, as the sternum was broken by a blow from a blunt object and the woman buried with him could have had a heart attack on hearing the news, there isn't really any other explanation for her death," Rusu was quoted as saying in Romania Insider.

Rusu expels suicide as a reason for their death because committing suicide during that period was considered as a serious offence, and if it was suicide, they would not have been buried in the same grave. He says they were buried together with their hands clasped because of the love they had for each other.

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