A story about the supposed “World’s First Gay Caveman” has started circulating. At a dig in the Czech Republic, remains of a male were found buried with items that were typically buried with females in the culture of that time period. The scientific community has insisted that the reason for this was not likely because the subject was a homosexual.
Man found buried like a woman from five millennia ago
Remains were recently unearthed that may shed light on the history of gender roles in the human species. A dig in the Czech Republic turned up 5,000-year-old remains of a man who had been buried in an unusual fashion. The man was buried with his head facing the opposite direction, according to The Telegraph, which was traditional for women of the cultures of that region during the Copper Age time period. Women were buried with their heads buried in one direction, men in another. The people in question are called the Corded Ware culture, and they were sticklers for burial rituals. He was also buried with an assortment of items that are usually also associated with women and housework, such as pottery.
World’s most fabulous caveman
Debate immediately began over whether the remains were the world’s earliest known homosexual, but scientists are not sold on the idea that the current “gay/straight” model necessarily fits with that culture, according to MSNBC. It is being argued that the Corded Ware people, who lived in the pre-Bronze Age, possibly recognized a “third gender,” or people who fit in between gender roles in society. He also wasn’t a caveman; the “caveman” of pop culture, television and other media fits Neanderthals more closely, and this individual was not a proto-human or Cro Magnon. This was a modern man who lived before civilization spread in Europe.
Two genders on shaky scientific ground
Plenty of cultures have recognized third gender people for thousands of years. The Hijras of India and Pakistan are biologically male but don’t identify as such. In Polynesia, there is a group of third gender individuals called Fa’afafine by Samoans and by other names in other Polynesian cultures. Some Native American tribes had people that early French explorers referred to as “berdache,” a pejorative meaning “effeminate,” who were biologic males who performed male and female roles, though the term “Two Spirit” is currently viewed as more accurate. There were also women who occupied male roles in other societies. The last 60 years of scholarly literature is poking a lot of holes in the idea of the traditional male/female and gay/straight categorizations, though the traditional roles have a long history as being orthodoxy as well.
The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8433527/First-homosexual-caveman-found.html
Wikipedia on Third Genders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender
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