Oldest "gay caveman" found in Prague

(SPOT.ph) Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a late Stone Age man believed to be homosexual or transsexual in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic, reports The Daily Mail.

The skeleton, which is estimated to date back to between 2900 and 2500 BC, was buried in a manner similar to how women were interred during his time. Surrounded by household jugs, the man was found on his left side with his head facing west. During his time in the Corded Ware era, men were traditionally buried on their right side, facing west, with weapons, hammers, flint knives, food and drinks.

"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," Czech Archeological Society lead researcher Kamila Remisova Vesinova said, according to The Daily Mail. "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."

However, the term "gay" is an oversimplication, according to University of Wisconsin paleoanthropologist John Hawks. He told Live Science, "Corded-Ware burials are not ’caveman’ in age... We’re talking about pre-Bronze Age farmers."

Live Science reports, "Vesinova and her colleagues told reporters that the man may have belonged to a ’third gender.’ This designation is for people who may be viewed as neither male nor female or some combination of both. In some cases, third-gender individuals are thought to be able to switch between male and female depending on circumstance. Modern examples include the Hijras of India and the Fa’afafine of Polynesia."

In addition, Time.com wrote that there is "no conclusive evidence" that the remains "belonged to a transsexual because traditionally third genders had their own unique burial customs."

Archaeologist Monty Dobson from the Drury University in Missouri told Live Science, "This might be much ado about nothing, or it might be something that tells us something very interesting... There simply isn’t enough data right now to make that statement definitively."



For more on this story, log on to The Daily Mail, MSNBC and Time.com.

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