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Researchers dig up queen of the Stone Age

Friday 8 Apr 2011 8:11 a.m.

The man was buried in a manner typical of women of the era

The man was buried in a manner typical of women of the era

By Dan Satherley

Researchers in the Czech Republic believe they've found the first remains of a gay caveman.

Buried on the outskirts of the capital Prague and dating from between 2500BC and 2900BC, the man's skeleton was interred in a manner reserved for women.

Its head points east instead of west, and was buried with household jugs, whilst other men in the area and of the time were typically buried with weapons and tools.

"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," says head researcher Kamila Vesinova.

"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual."

An oval jug was found at the man's feet, another object usually found buried with women.

But it's not the first time a body has been found surrounded by untypical objects. Male shamans and witch doctors have been found buried with jewels, but according to archaeologists, that's a reflection of their position in Stone Age society, rather than sexual orientation.

"This later discovery was neither [shaman nor witch doctor]," says Vesinova.

"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."

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