London: Archaeologists have unearthed what
they believe are the remains of the first known Stone Age gay man who was buried like a woman some 5,000 years ago.
The skeleton, discovered during an excavation near Prague
in Czech Republic and believed to date back to between 2900
and 2500 BC, was pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic
jugs -- rituals only previously seen in female graves.
According to the archaeologists, the way he was buried,
it suggests that he was of a different sexual persuasion, the
Daily Mail reported.
During that period, men were traditionally buried lying
on their right side with the head pointing towards the west;
women on their left side with the head facing east.
In this case, the researchers said, the man was on his
left side with his head facing west.
According to them, Stone Age men tended to be interred
with weapons, hammers and flint knives as well as several
portions of food and drink to accompany them to the other
Women would be buried with necklaces made from teeth,
pets, and copper earrings, as well as domestic jugs and an
egg-shaped pot placed near the feet.
And the "gay caveman" was found buried with household
jugs, and no weapons. The archaeologists said they don`t think
it was a mistake or coincidence given the importance attached
to funerals during the period, known as the Corded Ware era
because of the pottery it produced.
"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said Kamila Remisova Vesinova, who led the research.
"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different
sexual orientation, homosexual or transvestite.
"What we see here does not add up to traditional Corded
Ware cultural norms."
According to the researchers, an oval, egg-shaped
container usually associated with female burials was also
found at the feet of the skeleton.
Katerina Semradova, another member of the archaeological
team, said that her colleagues had uncovered an earlier case
dating from the Mesolithic period where a female warrior was
buried as a man.
Siberian shamans, or witch doctors, were also buried in
this way but with richer funeral accessories appropriate to
their elevated position in society, she said.
"This latest discovery was neither of those," she added.
"We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what
could be described as a transvestite or third-gender grave in
the Czech Republic."