We often sacrifice for love. We sacrifice our time, our lives, for people that we love so much. We do everything that we can do to be with these people and to be with them forever. But is there such thing as forever? Are we not only allowed to live and stay with our loved ones for a period of time. ‘Til death do us part, is it not the vow that we make with our spouses?
It is not the case for these skeletons of a man and a woman found in a grave close to the village of Petrykiv, south of the city of Ternopil, in Western Ukraine.
The skeletons were found hugging each other even in her deathbed. They were clad with bronze decorations and near their heads were some pottery items – a bowl, a jar and three bailers. They might have belonged to a Bronze Age group called the Vysotskaya – or Wysocko people – a group known for the ‘tenderness’ to their burial rituals.
According to Western Ukraine. Professor Mykola Bandrivsky, who has studied what are called ‘loving couple burials’, they have found burials from this culture that showed ‘a man holding the hands of a woman, the lips of a man touching forehead of a woman, or arms of both dead people hugging each other’. In this case, this should not be something extraordinary, but it was.
What made this extraordinary was the position of the woman in the grave. Professor described their position as: both faces were gazing at each other, their foreheads were touching, the woman was lying on her back, with her right arm tenderly hugging the man, her wrist lying on his right shoulder and with the legs of the woman bent at the knees – lying on the top of the men’s stretched legs. Romantic, right?
According to some autopsy experts who have analyzed the scene, the position of the woman, as romantic as it seemed, was not possible had the woman been buried there dead.
The woman might have voluntarily buried herself alive with her husband.
Experts believed that she might have drunk a load of poison before climbing into the grave and positioning herself in such manner beside her husband. They speculated that this woman might not have wanted to be with another man, so she opted to join her husband in the next life.
Professsor Bandrivsky also said, “Marriage was well developed in the Vysotskaya Culture, with husbands and wives having clearly defined responsibilities. People in late Bronze Age believed in eternal life of the human soul. It is interesting that in other parts of Europe dead men and women in couple burials were laid next to each other. But in the Vysotskaya culture the couples in double graves were arranged in a way to demonstrate the tenderness and greatest sympathy towards each other.”
This was how this woman expressed her eternal love for her husband – in an embrace in her deathbed, her husband’s grave.
How about you? What sacrifice can you do for someone you love?