The Hasanlu Lovers

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The Lovers Hansanlu Lovers (Penn Museum Image)

Their remains were found by a team from the University of Pennsylvania led by Robert Dyson at the Teppe Hasanlu archaeological site, located in the Solduz Valley in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran, in 1972. It was the site of the Teppe Hasanlu citadel.

Around 800 B.C. when the pair was alive the area had been burned out from a military attack. People fighting from both sides were killed in the fire, which apparently spread quite unexpectedly and quickly through the town. The skeletons were found in a plaster grain bin, probably hiding from soldiers, and they almost certainly died from asphyxiated quickly due to the fire. The “head wound” on the skeleton is from modern-day excavators.
No other objects where found with the pair except a stone slab under the head of one skeleton.

The image earned the photograph its title Hasanlu Lovers or The 2800 Years Old Kiss. Though some websites and sources identify the skeletons as both being male, they are actually male and female (female on the left). Either way they died together in a loving embrace. Love is eternal.

Adela