Mystery of the Romanian Romeo and Juliet

On April 2013, an archaeological team from the Cluj-Napoca Institute of Archaeology and History of Art have uncovered several Middle ages skeleton in the courtyard of a former Dominican monastery. Two skeletons, of a young man and a woman, were found clearly buried together with their hands clasped for eternity. According to Daily Mail, the team may have discovered a Romanian Romeo and Juliet after unearthing the bodies of a young couple who were buried holding hands. They were surprised when discovering the couple holding hands as double burials were extremely rare in that period.

Main researcher Adrian Rusu said that several graves had been found in what was the courtyard of the monastery, including the couple buried together. The couple are thought to have lived between 1450 and 1550, as the grave’s position and proximity to the monastery are typical of this period.

 The mysterious skeletons holding each other hands

The remains belonged to “a young couple of around 30 years of age, a man and a woman buried together, facing each other and holding hands. It’s a strange case, a sort of Romeo and Juliet. The man appears to have died in an accident, as the sternum was broken by a blow from a blunt object and the woman buried with him could have had a heart attack on hearing the news, there isn’t really any other explanation for her death,” said Adrian Rusu.

Mr Rusu explained it is unlikely she killed herself - and if she had they would not have been buried together like the were in a holy place. Because suicide was regarded as a sin in the Medieval Ages.

He stated that the team also discovered the partial skeleton of a child but also lower leg bones belonging to a fourth skeleton. The works conducted by specialists from the Institute of Archaeology and from the Cluj-based Transylvania’s National History Museum, are part of a project to rehabilitate the former Dominican church in Cluj-Napoca, a monument dating back to the 14th Century.


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