The “lovers of Modena” — two 1,600-year-old skeletons found holding hands inside their grave — are both men, new research reveals.
There are few known examples in the ancient world of skeletons buried holding hands and most of those found have been male-female and not same sex.
Unearthed in an ancient cemetery in 2009, the skeletons attracted media attention because of their seemingly romantic death poses, which earned the skeletons the amorous nickname. But archaeologists couldn’t determine the sexes of the perished lovers because of the poor condition of the skeletons.
However, a team of scientists has now analyzed the skeletons’ teeth enamel and identified both skeletons as male, they reported online Sept. 11 in the journal Scientific Reports.