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Archaeologists Find First "Gay" Grave

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the only-gay-caveman dept.

Idle 14

A recent discovery in the Czech Republic suggests that Stone Age people may have been more socially tolerant than you might think. Archaeologists have found a 5,000-year-old grave of a man buried like a woman, leading them to believe that the man was gay. From the article: "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 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."

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14 comments

I could be mistaken (0, Flamebait)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 3 years ago | (#35758798)

But homophobia is something that came with our Imaginary friend Yahweh. So, this is something that proves that during our history we might have been more tolerant as it suggested by the article.

Re:I could be mistaken (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 3 years ago | (#35759394)

Homophobia arose for very practical reasons. 3000 years ago, the well-being of a tribe was largely determined by it's birthrate. Anything that lowered the birthrate therefore became taboo. If I recall the story of Onan correctly, his real sin wasn't "spilling his seed on the ground", it was failing to impregnate his brother's wife when his brother was unable to do so. Women in Jewish society that didn't produce children were thought to have no value. These rule seem archaic now because too high a birth rate has become more of a problem than too low a birth rate in most parts of the world.

Re:I could be mistaken (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | about 3 years ago | (#35772030)

The "GOD HATES FAGS" sort of Christian is a bigot first, and not much a "Christian" at all. Rather than following the instructions of our savior-- those being to love others and to leave the task of judgment to God --these people instead choose to use our God to justify their irrationality. They ignore the chief messages of the entire New Testament, and focus on a handful of passages taken out of context in the Old Testament. The passages cited as forbidding homosexuality are part of an enumeration of the laws of the ancient Jewish state, and specifically forbid men from engaging in sexual acts with other men, among other things including animals and women on their period.

Leviticus provides a long, and very specific list of people and things the Jews were not to have sex with (Interestingly, there is no mention at all of girl-on-girl action). This is all part of a very long list of general rules which promote the overall health of the society as a whole. There is no, "IF YOU HAVE THE GAY SEX THEN YOU'RE GO TO HELL". There is only, "Don't do that, it's gross."

Re:I could be mistaken (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 3 years ago | (#35781834)

Yahweh is not for the Christians only! Beside I am in no way signaling out Christianity. And Whether or not the true "Christian" message contain or doesn't contain hatred for homosexuality is not the issue here, and I don't want to go with *different* interpretations of holy text issue. For example Islam "whether Muslims accept it or not" is based on the Old testament, so with Islam too you have this explicit (as in the old testament) vilification of homosexuality. My point was (Wether the believers now believe in this or not) that as far as I know, homosexuality was never an issue in the old world (it was even accepted as normal in ancient Greece), and there is no general proof that it ever was a problem outside of Mesopotamia. So the whole point is that our modern hatred/rejection of homosexuality is based on an argument that goes as following: It is against Nature/God forbid it. Now again who say that ? Oh well it is the different followers of Yahweh.

gender identity != sexual orientation (2)

eca212 (462201) | about 3 years ago | (#35759004)

Wouldn't this indicate that this is the skeleton of a transgender person, not a gay person? Not all gay people are (or, presumably, were) effeminate.

Re:gender identity != sexual orientation (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 3 years ago | (#35759334)

My thoughts exactly. Being buried as a woman doesn't mean you are "gay", it means you've successfully passed for a woman in your society. There are historical anecdotes of women who lived there whole lives as men; there must be some of men who lived their whole lives as women, I just can't think of any. A man being identified by his tribe as female is rare, but not unheard of.

Re:gender identity != sexual orientation (1)

pilott (732030) | about 3 years ago | (#35761228)

It could also be someone with Pseudohermaphroditism and no one ever knew that she was a male.

Re:gender identity != sexual orientation (1)

GooberToo (74388) | about 3 years ago | (#35763440)

Wouldn't this indicate that this is the skeleton of a transgender person

I can think of endless reasons why this may have occurred, and not of them have anything to do with sexual orientation. It reads of propaganda rather than anything else.

Maybe a punishment? (2)

vlpronj (1345627) | about 3 years ago | (#35761354)

To play Devil's Advocate, so to speak, maybe it was intended as a shameful manner of burial?

Re:Maybe a punishment? (1)

SeNtM (965176) | about 3 years ago | (#35762038)

Now that is what I thought... "Uhg asshole-bitch, we show him!"

Re:Maybe a punishment? (1)

bindlestiff (191806) | about 3 years ago | (#35762926)

I agree; the treatment given this person could easily have been insulting treatment of a pariah rather than acceptance of a gay person. Assuming we understand the message and motive just because we see the action is an insupportable connection in this case. It is indeed very interesting but does not lend itself to a definite conclusion about the attitudes of the people who conducted the burial. Let's say for example... maybe he killed a woman, and her body was unrecoverable for some reason, but they knew who had done it. The family told him they were going to have a burial for her whether she could be recovered or not, and he was invited to stand in for her. ;) No doubt there are hundreds of other possible scenarios.

Re:Maybe a punishment? (1)

hawkfish (8978) | about 3 years ago | (#35782838)

Now that is what I thought... "Uhg asshole-bitch, we show him!"

In that case, why bury him at all?

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