An elderly couple who have been holding hands for the past 5,000 years have been uncovered by archaeologists in a Bronze Age grave.
The skeletons, believed to be an ancient dignitary and his wife or lover , were unearthed at a burial site overlooking Lake Baikal in Siberia.
They were found decorated with unusual rings made from rare white jade, one of which was placed over the eye socket of the man.
The couple are thought to be from the ancient Bronze Age ‘Glazkov Culture’, who lived around Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake in the world.
Intriguingly, Russian scientists have not yet revealed details of a ‘metal implement’ discovered inside a leather pouch placed between the man’s kneecaps.
Three jade rings were found placed on the male’s chest, while a 20-inch jade dagger, made from the same rare stone, was also unearthed inside the grave.
Archaeologist Dr Dmitry Kichigin, of Irkutsk National Research Technical University, said the rings were ‘somehow connected’ with the pair’s ‘ideas about the afterlife’.
“In the grave we found male and female skeletons, lying on their backs, heads to the west, hand in hand,” he said.
“It would be very interesting to find out the purposes the massive jade knife, which we found near the woman, was used for.
“We also found some metal implement in a small leather bag between male’s kneecaps.”