Ancient «lovers» buried holding hands identified as men.

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Two ancient skeletons that have become a symbol of imperishable love have both been identified as men. The two skeletons, known as the "Lovers of Modena," were found in Italy in 2009. Researchers could not previously determine the sex of the hand-holding deceased, because they were so badly preserved, according to BBC News.

Now, using new technology, the "lovers" have both been identified as male. Scientists used the protein on tooth enamel to reveal the sex of the skeletons, although not much else is known about the skeletons.

The two adults lived somewhere in between the 4th and 6th Century AD, according to a study published on Wednesday. They could be siblings, cousins or just soldiers who died together in battle.

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What is known about the skeletons is that they were "two Late Antique individuals whose skeletons were intentionally buried hand-in-hand," according to the study.

The skeletons were buried with 11 other individuals, some of whom showed signs of trauma, which could be indicative of death during war. Their gravesite is believed to be an old war cemetery, according to the study.

Whoever the real "Lovers of Modena" are, it's safe to say they've been close for about 1,400 years.

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The "Lovers of Modena" could have died in war together, and were then buried together because they were close, research suggests. Nature.com/ Scientific Reports
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