Oldest ever gay unearthed in Czech Republic

Oldest ever gay unearthed in Czech Republic 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 side.

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."