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February 07, 2007

Eternal Embrace

They died together, some 5,000 - 6,000 years ago. Based on their teeth, it is estimated that they were fairly young. It is also assumed that they were a man and a woman, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.

They were found in an archaeological dig in Italy. Apparently nothing quite like this has ever been discovered from the neolithic period. You have to wonder what happened. How is it that they came to die together? Illness? Exposure to the cold? There is apparently no evidence of foul play, but then that might be hard to determine at this point.

huggingskeletons.jpg

It's an evocative image. There's usually something gruesome about skeletons, but the apparent tenderness of the embrace, and the suggestion that they were trying to draw even closer together at the time of death -- which may be poetic license, but I can live with that -- give this scene a transcendent quality.

A good deal of time passed from the moment these two breathed their last and the moment they were uncovered. The world has changed immensely. And of course, I believe that much greater changes than any that were seen over those thousands of years are on their way, and soon. With that in mind, there's something very comforting about this image.

Three things endure, and the greatest of these is love.