Wednesday, February 07, 2007
hey, Bimbo, remember that day at the boston museum?
just for you, honey, courtesy of Yahoo News:
ROME (Reuters) - Call it the eternal embrace.
Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, hugging each other.
"It's an extraordinary case," said Elena Menotti, who led the team on their dig near the northern city of Mantova.
"There has not been a double burial found in the Neolithic period, much less two people hugging -- and they really are hugging."
Menotti said she believed the two, almost certainly a man and a woman although that needs to be confirmed, died young because their teeth were mostly intact and not worn down.
"I must say that when we discovered it, we all became very excited. I've been doing this job for 25 years. I've done digs at Pompeii, all the famous sites," she told Reuters.
"But I've never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special."
A laboratory will now try to determine the couple's age at the time of death and how long they had been buried.
I wonder why the archaeologist is so "certain" that the pair are a man and a woman. bone length? pelvic width? What do y'all think?
siblings? lovers? Romeo-n-Juliet? Best Friends Forever? any thoughts?
were they comforting each other? protecting each other? shielding each other?
It's their age (at the time of death) that's a big factor in determining how much we can know and how we'll go about figuring it out.
If they're older than teenagers it will be easier to determine sex by their skulls. The differences are much subtler in younger bones. Same goes for the pelvis. It's after the teenage years that you start to see more differentiation. In west Asian and European cultures the males become more robust. But in sub-Saharan Africans the male skull stays pretty feminine. In Arctic groups the female skull develops masculine traits. We think women are 'supposed to have' smaller lower jaws, smaller faces, larger eyes, more vertical foreheads. But these features aren't musts to females or exclusive of males, so osteologists and forensic and paleoanthropologists et al are a hell of a lot more careful than we are as laypeople in thinking these things are indicative of gender. Keep your records for the archeologists to find because -currently- human males are only about 3% larger than females in the same population. That's going to seriously fuck with the minds of future bone docs.
It's hard to guess what their relationship might have been out of context. The article doesn't say anything about where they were found, what the gravesite (if it was that) is like. It's a lot of inference, anyway, using what we know of culture. We want to believe they're hugging because that's nice. Was that arranged post-mortem and what was the cause of death, anyway? In two weeks time we might be reading something very different than 'hugging'. We can only find out by listening to who they tell us they are -hint by hint, piece by piece- rather than telling them who we think they should be with our theories and suppositions.
This totally made my fucking day. Can you tell? Thanks for thinking of me. Now please excuse me while I go vacuum the Temple of Doom.
Fortunateson~ Right on.
hey, that pile of rocks looks like an old man! this pile of rocks looks like a face! this dog looks like he's smiling! these skeletons look like they're hugging!
I can't wait for more details to be revealed.
I wonder - were there grave goods? any kind of utensil or talisman or fragment of household objet?
OR- OR! -was one of them wearing diapers? Have they found any chemical traces of mace? Or a BB gun?