Did Romeo and Juliet Really Exist?

William ShakespeareWhen it comes to the plays of William Shakespeare, there are some that have been touching our hearts and our English classes for many years. Many will have their favorite and “Romeo and Juliet” is one of the most popular of Shakespeare’s writings. The play has been adapted into movies upon movies and made reference to in a wide-range of media and other artistic circles. The story is so well known that we sometimes forget that the two main characters were a figment of William’s imagination. In this article, we will learn of what researchers believe is a real-life tale of the two star-crossed lovers.


In Rome, a recent discovery has brought up the tale of “Romeo and Juliet” as a way to explain the found specimens. Researchers are describing the two skeletons as young and “dying in love.” Set close to the same city in which Shakespeare set his famous tale, the skeletons were discovered in an embrace that is said to have spanned 5,000 years. The theories have been running rampant since. Some wish to believe that the remains are proof that maybe Shakespeare drew from real-life occurrences to pen his tale of a forbidden love.


Shakespeare set the tale of Romeo and Juliet in the city of Verona. The skeletons were recovered outside of Mantua, which is located 25 miles south from Verona. Archeologists believe that the remains come from the late Neolithic period with an estimated burial time dating back 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. When the team leader of the dig shed a few details on the find, she stated that the prehistoric couple were man and woman and were thought to have died at a young age. The reasoning behind this assessment comes form the fact that all of their teeth were found intact.


The find in itself is rather extraordinary, especially under the circumstances. Experts say that double burials during the Neolithic time period are an unheard of act. The fact that they are hugging also brings about astonishment.


The area in which the remains were found has produced an array of interesting finds. When archeologists dug throughout the region, they were able to uncover about 30 different burial sites where all of the plots were filled with only one occupant. They were also lucky enough to stumble upon the remains hailing from wealthy villages that possessed numerous examples of artifacts fashioned from flint, as well as pottery and several different examples of animal horns.


The couple in Mantua displays an endearing pose with one another, but this is nothing new to archeologists. There are actually other prehistoric burial finds that archeologists from the Rome National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum have come across in which the deceased are holding hands or having additional contact with one another. So when studying this find, experts are touched by the emotional significance rather than the scientific.


When taking a look back at the Neolithic period, the societies during this time have always been considered as a formative time in the history of man. It was during this time that the foundation to religious belief was laid down. The discovery will help researchers dig deeper into the rituals that were held during this time, as well as get down to the bottom of what it all means. At this time, many mysteries swirl about this find. For starters, the relationship that the couple shares may never surface. While many would like to believe that the two are a Romeo and Juliet-like pair, they could very well be brother and sister.


The burial site of the find was unearthed while construction lingered for a factory situated about the outskirts of Mantua. Located by the remains, a variety of additional items were also found, such as flint tools. Arrowheads and a knife were also found positioned by the skeletons. The next step researchers will undergo in regards to this find includes finding the exact date of the burial site, as well as how old the pair was when they died. Their cause of death may also be revealed if disease or a knife wound, which would have left marks on their bones, killed them. The possibility of DNA testing is also still an option and will reveal whether the two were related. The tale of Romeo and Juliet will just have to be left to the imagination.