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Isn’t The World’s First ‘Gay’ Caveman Actually Trans?

Archaeologists who uncovered this 5,000-year-old man in the Czech Republic believe the Stone Age-era skeleton is the first-ever gay caveman discovered. How come? Because of the way he was buried. And I’m not talking about the way it looks like he’s bent over ready to receive.

During that period [between 2900 and 2500 BC], 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 man was on his left side with his head facing west. Another clue is that 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. The ‘gay caveman’ was buried with household jugs, and no weapons.

Except wouldn’t burying the dead man in the ritual of a woman actually make him not gay, but trans? Or maybe he was actually intersex, but lived as a woman? Ah right. But the Daily Mail went another direction.

Archaeologists do not 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 lead researcher Kamila Remisova Vesinova. ‘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.’

By:           Matt Debord
On:           Apr 6, 2011
Tagged: , ,
  • 16 Comments
    • John Citron
      John Citron

      Maybe the man was straight and really pissed someone or even the whole tribe off and they buried him this way out of disrespect; to humiliate him and/or his family.

      Apr 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shaquita
      shaquita

      Im sorry, but this is ridiculous

      Apr 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shaquita
      shaquita

      Daily mail always has the most effed up comments towards male Homosexuality

      Apr 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      5000 years ago wasn’t the Stone Age but the Bronze Age (DailyMail). Gosh!

      Apr 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      I think it’s an interesting story. Obviously there were gay humans on earth since the beginning of humanity. And certainly homophobia did not exist in the earliest times. Like America’s Indian nations, the gay early humans probably were allowed to take on whatever gender role they chose to take on.

      Apr 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenmanTN
      greenmanTN

      In some Native American societies a male would “have a dream” which indicated he was “Berdache” and he would take on a mixed male/female role in the community, dressing as a woman but performing some tasks usually reserved for men. The Berdache would partner with a brave, who wasn’t necessarily considered homosexual. Or sometimes the Berdache was trained as a spiritual figure since he was thought to have two spirits, both male and female.

      It could be a similar thing here, there being a cultural role which gay people were expected to take.

      FWIW there’s an interesting book called “The Zuni Man-Woman” about We’wha, a Berdache who was taken East by an anthropologist in the 1880s and introduced to social and government elite figures, including the President. It’s an interesting look at a particular person and the cultural role of the Berdache.

      http://www.amazon.com/Zuni-Man-Woman-Will-Roscoe/dp/0826313701

      Apr 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon
      Shannon

      DUDE…..COME ON! YOU ARE REALLY REACHING HERE!! THIS MAKING GAY MEN SEEN SILLY…STUPID…AND DESPERATE….PLEASE STOP THIS NONSENSE….PLEASE

      Apr 7, 2011 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hank Hill
      Hank Hill

      @Shannon: Why are you so transphobic?

      Apr 7, 2011 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tori
      Tori

      @hephaestion: Trans people have xisted as well.

      Apr 7, 2011 at 4:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BoneGirlPhD
      BoneGirlPhD

      We archaeologists have been trying to counteract the media hype on this one. Unfortunately, “gay caveman” is particularly interesting to the public (and says something about our society). For deconstructions of the story with, you know, actual facts and anthropology, see:

      http://killgrove.blogspot.com/2011/04/gay-caveman-zomfg.html

      http://ancientbodies.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/gay-caveman-wrecking-a-perfectly-good-story/

      Apr 7, 2011 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      One point I make to homophobic religious people is that homosexuality has existed in all known human societies, something we know from their art, myths, graffiti, and laws. It predates the religions which currently condemn it so their opinion of it is beside the point, with about as much meaning as their opinion of left-handed people or people with a certain hair color.

      Bumper-sticker simplicity aside, the Queer Nation chant “We’re here, We’re Queer, Get used to it” is a simple and powerful statement of fact. They can stamp their feet about gays all they want but they don’t get to deny or change reality. Well they CAN deny reality, as evidenced by the creation museum that has Adam and Eve riding dinosaurs, but reality isn’t going to remake itself to conform to their world view so they might as well get used to it.

      It’s a point that is too often overlooked in the ongoing debate about gays and gay rights. Homosexuality wasn’t invented in the 1960s to piss religious folk off. It didn’t get its start in some decadent 1920s Berlin cabaret or in Ancient Greece or Rome. It’s quite simply part of the human condition, a fact of life, and the real question isn’t why it exists but why we have failed to deal with that reality so far.

      Apr 7, 2011 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Philosophe
      Philosophe

      @Kev C: 5,000 ago by most measurements, which differ from region to region, was, indeed, the Bronze Age.

      Apr 7, 2011 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      @BoneGirlPhD: If I understand your links correctly, there are some valid complaints against this “gay caveman” story and others that seem…, well, sort of niggling and picayune.

      1. “Caveman” generally refers to Stone Age peoples and this skeleton is Bronze age. That’s fair, I suppose. Prehistoric might have been a better word. But did this skeleton belong to a culture that did in fact live in caves or did they build structures to live in?

      2. How do we know that’s a man? OK, due to musculature different from our own, skeletons of this vintage are sometimes harder to “sex” than ours. But it is anthropologists who have stated these remains are male and they ought to know, shouldn’t they? Just because YOU or the authors of those articles didn’t personally do the examination doesn’t mean those who did don’t know what they’re doing. You didn’t find it, now did you? Unless you have proof of shabby scholarship on their part there’s no reason to doubt their conclusions. They, after all, are in the field holding the evidence in their hands while you and the authors of those articles are merely whingeing on the internet.

      3. Even if it is a male skeleton with female-associated grave artifacts, we don’t know if that means he’s homosexual, cross-gender, intersexed, or perhaps just the Bronze Age version of a metrosexual. Though of course there were intersexed individuals than as now, it’s a statistically rare occurrence and probably not the most likely explanation. Occam’s razor applies. Homosexual and cross-gender was in many cases the same thing since being a man/woman was often a cultural role. It’s a logic statement determined by their understanding of sexuality and gender. “If you are homosexual then by our definition you are cross-gender and therefore this is your role and these are your duties.” Hell, it’s not that different from today when it’s assumed that if a man is gay he must be a clothing designer with a mad passion for Barbra Streisand.

      Reading those links, it seems to me the authors wouldn’t be satisfied unless there was a stone tablet in the grave with the inscription “Here lie Thag, he have dick but he like suck dick too.” Well so far as I know no such epitaph has ever been found so much of it is guesswork. But then much of what we “know” about prehistory is guesswork since we weren’t there and they didn’t leave records, which is why it’s called prehistory.

      “Unfortunately, “gay caveman” is particularly interesting to the public (and says something about our society).” Is it really that hard to figure out?

      Apr 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kuy
      kuy

      Since they don’t actually know if this thing had sex with men, they’re just kind of assuming that it was buried in a fasion similar to that of a woman and therefore is must be gay. Or they think that gay also means effeminate.

      Apr 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      I can only go by things I’ve read which aren’t about this particular site or culture. Some cultures made allowances for “cross-gender” interests, women who wanted to be warriors or males who were more interested in the domestic sphere were allowed to do so but there was an expectation they would adopt the dress of the gender whose role they were taking on. That doesn’t necessarily make someone a transvestite or transsexual by choice. It just means they adopted the clothing because it was expected of them in that culture. In some Native American tribes there was a deliberate mix of traditional male and female styles in clothing and hairstyle.

      And a “cross-gender” wife might marry a traditional male, who was not considered cross-gendered. It’s the old “the ‘passive’ partner is the gay one, not the active one” thing that’s still believed by some. But there isn’t a straight forward relationship between modern sexual/gender roles and those of ancient cultures so modern definitions of those terms may not fit.

      Apr 8, 2011 at 12:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      Why was the body burried in a fetal position as opposed to a flat out vertical stretch? If they respected burial rituals so much, the person should have been buried laying on his back, straight up. Fetal position tells me it is submissive, it is a painful position, and you know not exactly relaxed. Perhaps more forensic investigation should be done. Can i help? LOL

      Apr 10, 2011 at 1:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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