Obviously, “Till Death Do Us Part” is not translated into ancient Chinese, if these archaeological finds in China are any indication.
The skeletal remains of the couple wrapped in a gentle embrace testify that in the northern Wei period the 4th shows that love expectations goes beyond the grave.
A couple lies on their side, arms around the each other’s hips and her cheeks close to the man’s shoulders.
Under phenomenal circumstances, archaeologists believe this is how the two were placed in their graves, reflecting the “couple’s desire for eternal love and respect for their love from those who buried them.”
According to the South China Morning Post, the scene could mark the end of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic story.
With obvious signs of trauma on the man’s body, including an unhealed wound on his right arm and the woman’s unscathed skeleton, archaeologists have speculated that she may have ended her life in some kind of sacrifice to be with her lover in the afterlife.
The discovery was made during excavations that uncovered a grave in Dadong City, and the orientation of the tomb indicates that it was used by ordinary people.
Another visible detail is the presence of a silver ring on a woman’s finger – but the researchers don’t believe this has anything to do with marriage.
They believe that it is simply a cultural tendency to think about bringing something with them. Lack of gems or engravings means “probably not very valuable”.
During this Northern Wei period, Chinese rulers made rough sandpaper-like contact with the many nomadic tribes along their borders. The nomads, in this case the Tuobo people, conquered Shanxi in Taiyuan Province. Later rulers developed Buddhism as a strong central belief and brought people a more concrete concept of life after death.
“This funerary practice might have been influenced by the customs from the Western Regions and beyond through the Silk Roads,” write the authors in their corresponding scientific paper on the discovery.
“This discovery is a unique display of the human emotion of love in a burial, offering a rare glimpse of concepts of love, life, death and the afterlife in northern China during a time of intense cultural and ethnic exchange,” said co-author Qu Zhang.