Chutneybear – you seem to have to log in to be able to see anything on that link. What was your point?
Its only religionists and Julie Bindel that believe transgender people are a invention of the 1920′s!
We have always existed and always will.
True Helen, but as we have already discovered, religionists and their ilk will never admit to anything science tells them anyway because science can disprove too much of what they take on “faith.”
Ahh, Julie Bindel, the worst case of transphobic intolerance and bigotry within the LGBT community itself. Exactly Helen, like all the aspects of the human sexuality we always existed since primordial times. Apparently people like her never heard of Lili Elbe, Chevalier d’Eon and Elagabalus or the social phenomena of the Native American two-spirits, or if ever heard will try their best to discredit it.
I think that’s beautiful, honestly.
I was doing a paper on henna and its religious importance in ancient muslim culture, and I found out that transsexual women/third genders would wear henna in addition to women’s clothing.
Of course, this was aside from the main significance of the practice (wore between menstrual cycles to signify spiritual purity).
But the point of the matter is that these people existed during the time of the Qur’an’s writing and Muhammad acknowledged their existance (how they were treated I wouldn’t know because all my research material was limited due to the subject of the essay at the time).
Is it true that they dug this person up to let them know that they had finally reached the head of the NHS waiting list?
I take it the six people stuck in a ice age glacier in Oxford finally got treated!
@Christine, lol, prior to the coalition’s NHS cuts. How well timed ;D.
Like that, Very witty!!
I bet ATOS would still declare them “fit for work”
Although I believe trans people have existed since forever etc I think this article takes a lot of assumptions and pretends they are fact, if theory I could bury my (male) housemate with ‘I’m a pretty little girl’ written on his gravestone and place lots of shoes in his coffin but that wouldn’t mean any of it was relevant to him as a person.
Maybe they just had a sense of humour or something there are a million potential explanations.
How do we know the person wasn’t just a bottom or really camp? How did we come to the conclusion they were defiantly trans?
Having read a longer article on this it seems this culture had a very rigid way people was buried including the way people are positioned in the grave to the right for men and to the left for women, they had very specific grave goods of stone axes for men and pots for women. If this was some form of humiliation in death the frequency of these sort of burials would of been far greater.
We can have no total understanding of who this person was, but in the balance of probability it points to a intersexed or transgender person.
“If this was some form of humiliation in death the frequency of these sort of burials would of been far greater.”
Actually, it seems to have been a respectful burial rather than one intended to humiliate. There are a thousand and one other ways that particular society or culture could have humiliated this person had they chosen to do so, not least by simply killing them.
But the evidence and known history seems to show that they simply respected and accepted such gender differences.
Of course this was long before fascism, religious fundamentalism, and radical feminism came on the scene…
Such an excellent point.
We know that these sort of cultures would bury people upside down, decapitate the head from the body in punishment/humiliation after death.
They certainty would not of buried them with grave goods, as they are supposed to aid them in the journey to the after life.
As Chrissie says this person was buried with great dignity and respect, the community this person belonged to wanted to assist with the passing over not hinder it.
“Of course this was long before fascism, religious fundamentalism, and radical feminism came on the scene…”
Basically before the Abrahamism, the worst plague in the history of the humanity appeared and started to ruin and destroy mankind with its intolerant dogmas.
No they wouldn’t have buried some like this as a joke. It would have been deemed as very disrespectful to that persons memory etc. So no, there was very obviously something significant about this burial.
I would have said that maybe this man had been widowed and he was the one who looked after the family because there was no one else. But that would have only accounted for the pots and not the direction. He would have still been facing the direction men were faced and not that of a woman. I also find it unlikely a man would have ‘lowered themselves’ into living the domestic life then.
So it’s very possible that this is what it seems…Not saying it’s fact, just a possibility!
I’m trying to work out what animal that is in the pic.
Not buying it Helen. I believe that trans people have always been, just the same as lesbians, gays and bisexuals have. However, to say that the ‘balance of probability points to a intersexed or transgender person’ is misguided. All we know is a male skeleton was found buried like some female ones. Who’s to say he wasn’t a rampant male adulterer (or whatever) and his punishment was to be buried like a female? History is full of inconsistencies and is ever changing – I appreciate your point very much, but I can’t take it at face value.
I don’t think probability has much to do with it either and that such conclusions are crazy. The hard facts don’t support it.
It could also be a case of burying the wrong person – a stranger perhaps – in a grave intended for a woman (who escaped over the mountains instead of dying to get away from her obnoxiously abusive husband or so those silly romance novels would say).
We just don’t have enough information at this point to say one way or another.
OH PLEASE JIM!! take it for what it is , a male body being burried respectfully as female. The evidence proves that it’s a safe assumption to assume that the individual lived their life as a female. Most people TODAY don’t joke about death and with such rigid burial practices as this copper age culture had it’s safe to also say they took death VERY seriously and didn’t joke about it.
Also, you are perpetuating stereotypes and appearing to be ignorant. If a man is a “bottom” or someone is “campy” in their demeanor it doesn’t mean that they want to be female or even act like a female. My advice to you is get out and look around and maybe befriend some gay and trans people to get to know us and see what the difference is. — Good luck to you!
I am somewhat offended by the term “third sex”.. I dont believe there is a first, a second, and I definitely don’t think I am a third.
It’s a shame that you’re offended by the term, because it’s a totally legitimate one. Check out two-spirited folks in North American -First Nations peoples, the hijra in the Indian subcontinent, some kathoey people in Thailand, the Samoan Fa’afafine, Indonesian Waria and the Muxe of Southern Mexico, to name a few examples worldwide.
And those are the cultures that didn’t succumb to christianity
Always a good thing.
Exactly. People like Jojo always forget about the whole other world that exists NOT part of Western culture or rituals. Sheez.
Being gay is as old as old!
People shouldn’t be forced into the “Third Sex” label, but on the other hand a lot of trans people seem very convinced of the existance of men and women. As someone with genderqueer leanings, it sort of bemuses me, but I think we should respect that.
I’m very convinced that men and women exist. I’m also very convinced that people exist who don’t fit into the binary. It seems odd to assert otherwise on either score.
How do they really know these skeletal remains are of a trans person? Just because male remains were found in a female burial sight does not make them trans!
Want to come up with another rational explanation that encompasses the fact that the remains were interred in a way 100% consistent with how women were buried (and NO male remains had been found that way)?
Until another rational explanation is forwarded, the best explanation that fits the facts is that this person was a transgender woman in life.
They have found a woman buried in a male position in the past, and it it is thought that may be a similar situation.
I love the people here who are denying the existence of trans people in the past. These same people are probably guilty of the same in the present.
I used to see ‘em in bars all the time! :D
Since gender identity is self defined, how do they know?
Can the skeleton speak?
Read the article. The person defined the gender, and they were treated accordingly. A male skeleton buried as a female indicates a strong likelihood.
The detail that most convinces me – and this was one reported elsewhere, not here – was the specific inclusion of a fertility pot under the legs. In all cultures we’ve found up until the development of animal husbandry (and the subsequent total arrogation of credit for baby-making by men) fertility was the exclusive mark of women, and something that was respected and feared.
Does this suggest that there were times when people were respected for being who they are? That society was less judgemental?
Anything BC I reckon
Sadly, how a single person was treated is not necessarily a sign that they were respected within their society. What this only tells us, if this person was indeed intersex (which I’m not saying they weren’t), that they were likely respected by those who buried them in this fashion.
But aren’t we taught that before Christianity all were practically savages.
I do get your point though, weetzie.
Now, that’s what Christians want you to think ;) Just because the main religion wasn’t Christianity does not mean that people in BC were savages who went on killing sprees, had orgies and worshiped the Devil (which, btw, is a Christian myth!) on a daily basis. Sorry, off the point but I’m kind of irked by the assumption that Christianity brought ‘civilization; with it and laid rest to ‘savagery’.
I do believe the UK was mostly Pagan before Christianity, I dunno if that was the same in Europe but Pagans these days are far more respectful so if that hasn’t changed…
Its only the Judaism/Christianity/Islamic traditions that have historically committed genocidal acts against trans and intersexed people. Its only a few hundred years ago that someone found to be trans or intersexed would of been pronounced a witch and burnt, intersexed babies historically where murdered after birth often taken down to a river and drowned.
The atrocities of these superstitions are just brushed under the carpet instead of making them accountable.
Exactly, couldn’t agree more.
Helen that isn’t true. Actually in Iran, before the Shah was over thrown by the British and the Americans, trans mtof were seen as godesses and were treated with even greater respect then straight people. They were seen as blessed and beautiful-Arabic people in general are very striking so mtof tend to be very stunning-not ugly or weird.
You can go back to very much of Islam and this was true. The Islam you are talking about is this radical new kind of Islam that came from Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s NOT the real Islam, just pick up any book about the nature of Islam or look up ancient islamic artifacts.
Furthermore,the Taliban,destroyed pretty much all the historical artifacts in Afghanistan, ever wonder why????
“May have been transexual”
May have not!
Next they will be telling us the skeleton’s name was Martha Flintstone.
Do you have anything constructive to say? And I don’t consider putting trans people down as constructive.
I was talking about a skeleton for wich there is no REAL evidence of any sexual orientation. My dig was at the so called experts.
You really need to take a chill pill and stop projecting your feelings of insecurity onto others.
Gender identity is not sexual orientation.
In any case, this was a masculinized skeleton, buried in a female manner. The explanation that takes the fewest assumptions is that she lived as a woman, and was accepted as such by her people.
And you just can’t admit that it isn’t possible to know one way or the other? I think it’s possible that this person was transgender and accepted. I also think it’s possible that we’re completely misinterpreting this. Remember that people see what they want to see and reach conclusions that are acceptable to them.
Bottom line, does it matter? Will it change anything in your life tomorrow? Next year? Will it change society?
NO. It won’t. Attacking those who don’t agree with you, however, changes your credibility.
Actually, it would have been more likely to be “Freda Flintstone.”
Considering how strong-minded and bolshy some TS/TG people are, they would demand to be treated that way and consequently buried that way too. Early cultures considered death as an important ritual, and would not do something like this lightly.
“strong-minded and bolshy”
You mean like a lot of human beings?
Unlike you of course who is just ill-mannered and bolshy, who always has to see the worst in everything and everyone.
Spanner has certainly chosen the right name
By his words and views, he consistently reveals himself to be a simple tool.
Well we have needed to be bolshy to fight for the very human right most people take for granted. Trans issues don’t have celebs ect.. fighting to put a face to them or politicians fighting to support them.
Its been a hard fight all the way and its still not won.
yes they do they have Fallon Fox a male to trans kickboxer who likes to fight and knockout women and that’s legal! The trans umbrella unfortunately is not one based on a community but communities of varying interests which deny rights to other communties such as females and gay people by attempting to redefine who they are to suit their own dysphorias and paraphillias and dress sense. They distort history and herstories and are no more than male rights activists in dresses when it comes to invading lesbian spaces in particular. The media loves to show ‘diversity’ when males in dresses ‘fight for ‘women’ yet when it comes to misogyny they are absent. This case of a Corded ware culture find just proves historical distortion by people in positions of power and knowledge (or lack of it in the case of the archaeologist)!
Sorry to bust all pink dreams here: The fact that he was buried as a woman is not intended as a tribute, it is intended as an insult and punishment. This is considered as the ultimate punishment, worse than death, in several very old cultures. (Viking is one) The “victim” would loose his male statuis as a warrior and would become a female slave in the afterlife.
That would be some cultures not all. Different cultures had different rituals.
The fact is it does look as if this burial was respectfully. I think it’s hard to judge at the moment.
Of course there will be plenty who disagree wih homosexuality etc that will pipe up with disapproving comments in a vain attempt to dismiss any acceptance.
Mind you a few of those still insist on saying homosexuality is a new thing so wonder how this will sit with them.
This is pushing a whole lot of assumptions brought by cultures that began a WHOLE lot later than this one. What is your supporting evidence from THIS CULTURE that this skeleton was buried with disrespect intended? Especially since we know that transsexual priestesses existed around the same time in many other cultures.
It feels sometimes as if modern people will do ANYTHING to continue with the socially created conceit that transgender people are a creation of modern medicine rather than a legitimate variation of the human condition who have been around throughout history. It’s both an insult to trans people – the claim that we were “created” by modern medicine” – and an arrogant triumphalist boast that modern medicine can triumph over nature.
Kate is utter tosh.
Trans people have been living well and revered for centuries upon centuries upon centuries. In fact, they are probably the LEAST modern term in the world!
Now this is going by what I know extensively of other cultures historically. In terms of Anglo, Anglo Saxon, celtics, Vikings-all I ever read is that they fought a lot. And this I wouldn’t doubt is because historians are made to pick and choose which area to delve further into.
Similarly, a lot of truths that have been unearthed especially in arabic nations about female warriors or LGBT people,has been done so by western anthropologists, to the anger of Arabic ones..
‘it’ is utter tosh. Not you!
You are putting the cart before the horse in the assumption you make. These people existed before the Vikings, they are are direct descendants of the original migration out of Africa into the Middle East and eventually found themselves in Eastern Europe and then went onto inhabit central and Northern Europe.
What you are effectively saying is the Vikings directly influenced its great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandparents.
I never knew the Vikings invented time travel!
The fact that he was buried as a woman is not intended as a tribute, it is intended as an insult and punishment.
And your authority for making this statement is …?
their own prejudices.
Yes, it certainly seems so!
I have an interest in archaeology, in particular the early medieval period (/late iron age period as is appropriate to speak of the same time outside of great britain along with many other terms) and burial archaeology. I would like to know your sources, or the burials you are referring to.
Also – why do you argue that these cultures can be compared as analogies? What about these two seperate cultures makes you suggest that viking culture can be used to explain the older culture?
According to the Sun he was gay.
Yeah two things about that Sun Story.
1) Way say he was GAY? why not gay or Gay?
2) What’s with the caveboy picture with the slogan “I’m a laydee … Stone Age ‘gay’ with a handbag?
Did they actually get some idiot to pose for it?
I thought the Sun had changed? Yet they still choose to mock us as a community.
The Sun is a vile rag and unless it is sold and undergoes a complete regime change it will always remain the Bernard Manning of the tabloid press.
I did think of complaining to the PCC but what’s the point!
Groan. Female attributes = gay. The Sun seems to be striving for Copper Age attitudes.
Does anyone have a more detailed article on this? I’m just wondering how they sexed the skeleton, but none of the articles say how they gathered the skelton was male =)
It is possible to tell the difference and sex an adult skeleton
one of the determining factors of the biological makeup of a “sex” is the size of the pelvic bone. Which is why some transguys cannot lose their hips, because it’s not just body fat placement.
This is how the daily mail has reported this.
Predictable drivel along the lines of ‘gender ambiguity = gay’.
In any case I think speculations, let alone assertions about the meaning of this burial in the context of a vanished and barely known ancient culture are bound to be of very limited value.
Outed? I guess it is something to hide. Sigh.
Saying that,gays are just as bad with their obsession with someone being out or in. We actually add to this type of articles by our obsessive witch hunts of openly gay men who are not as open as we want them to be.
Transgender skeleton? Has anyone made a joke about Lady Gaga yet? If not I call it.
I don’t get it…
I dont see how this would be proof of transgender – it could equally be proof that ‘he’ was gay and married to a man couldnt it?
Im often appalled at how slack some ‘experts’ can be in their logic
LOL and Staircase2′s partner was appalled at how slack Staircase2 was in the sphincter department. they don’t call him Fisty McGinty for nothing
Oh Stephanies, there’s that queasy feeling again.
fisty mcginty? take it bee-atch, lmao here.
So, lacking a coherent argument you just call people pre-school names? Boy, that’s mature and intelligent…
Because in the small minded world you inhabit being gay must mean you are effeminate! Why would gay men in this culture not be fighters and hunters? Just look at the examples of Greece and Rome to see the roles gay men used to inhabit in society not the role religionists have tried to place them in today.
This person is more likely to be intersexed than transgender IMHO, to find three graves like this out of seven thousand odd is in keeping with the statistical evidence that 1 in 2000 people are born intersexed.
This was a society that capable loving intersexed people as they are. Maybe our NHS should take note and allow intersex children to discover their own gender identity and not decide to chose it for them with the surgeons scalpel.
Helen, thank you for including intersex people… though we are intersex, not intersexed! No scientific research has ever supported the figure of 1:2000 by the way. It is a statistic made up by by the defunct organization ISNA. Research does point to an intersex prevalence range of 1.7% to 4% of the human population however. Hope that helps.
staircase: if you look at the post I have just made you will see the Logic applied in this circumstance and just how sound it is.
We have definite proof that transsexual priestesses served Goddesses in the Mediterranean area around the same time. So why is it so strange the idea that someone could have been transsexual in central Europe? Unless you follow the woefully blinkered dogma that transsexuality was created by medical professionals in the 20th century, a dogma that is utterly disproven by historical evidence & research.
Hey Kate, don’t you love the trans-erasure going on here and some of the media? Thanks for being a force for good.
I see a flaw.
Let’s assume men marrying men was acceptable in this person’s culture. Let’s also assume the proportion of LGB people to the general population was about one in ten, which is the commonly accepted estimate. If gay men married to men were buried in this way, it seems like significantly more skeletons should have been found buried in similar fashion.
The relative rarity of trans* people would explain why only one has been found.
The denial of the apparent reality of this find are inconstant with the well respected maxim of Occum’s Razor. This was a test for a theory formulated by a Medieval Monk which states that ‘entities must not be replicated unnecessarily’ or, to put it in simpler terms ‘the simplest explanation is the correct one.’
Denying a ‘Third Sex’ burial and insisting that it was a punishment burial become problematic as they have at their heart, a whole bundle of unproven assumptions.
These include that ideas of Gender which are particular to the Abrahamic Religions existed in this Society. Additionally the present understanding of Gendered Bodies is no more than 300 years old. In addition it assumes a way of understanding Gender Roles that we can not prove existed din this culture.
In short the simplest explanation is that if a Male is buried as a Female in a society that had very strict burial rituals then the society saw them as female.
Denial such as you’re describing can also be called Trans-erasure.
for allot of people it’s the preferred option.
I am amused at the modern western sexist assumption that for a man to be buried as as a woman is some sort of shameful punishment.
Quit imposing modern culture onto ancient ones! I see no proof this was transgender person. Maybe he was househusband; maybe he was transvestite. Who knows?
The term “trans(gender)” is an anachronistic term used to encapsulate the current idea of a gender-nonconforming person. (with respect to their body gender, in this case I would assume demonstrated by their masculinized skeleton indicating extended exposure to testosterone). The concept that throughout history and across the world, individuals have acted in a manner that belied an identity at odds with their body physicality is not controversial among historians and anthropologists. This discovery is a data point that seems most easily explained by understanding that fact. It’s not proof. It’s a data point. This is how we piece together the puzzle of human history and culture: a clue at a time, without blinders on. Finally, wearing the vestments of the “opposite” gender is a key way of definitely associating ones-self with that gender and it’s associated roles. Further, don’t assume you know from this what their sexual attractions/behavior is/was.
The Corded Ware culture is identified mostly from its burials, where both sexes received the characteristic cord-decorated pottery.The finding was of a male skeleton. Perhaps this individual was buried towards the east because they may not have any other comparable grave sets i.e orientation for this period in this place. Was their brain size similar to a trans????
If you think that anything other than the term “transgender” is modern, you need to do a little homework….
Has anyone read “Same sex unions in premodern Europe: John Boswell”
I am not sure what is meant by “intersexual”. Is it something like the Native-American Two-Spirits tradition where men could take husbands and live as women, doing women’s tasks and women could take wives and live as men and become warriors or chiefs? The man who was buried could simply be a two-spirit – or its European equivalent at the time. The term “Intersexual” does strike me as a bit demeaning.
Well it’s a more “politically correct” term for what they used to say hemaprodite, having the organs of both sexes such as ovaries and a penis, or different than the majority in another way. It can be offensive to some people, and it can be embraced by some who don’t identify as transgender. I think the native American term also is used for people such as myself who for example was born with female parts but am a transgendered male.
They could have also wanted to insult him.
It may well just be a grave of a homosexual. If he was living as a woman, I don’t see why his community wouldn’t bury him as such. Since prehistoric graves are rare, finding one of a gay tribesman would be even more scarce. Transgender implies having medical procedures (at least to me) to change gender. This, like any surgery, would have been impossible in the Stone Age.
How do you know this person was attracted to men?
Being transgender requires no medical procedures. You’re thinking of transsexual.
It surprises me that this is such a surprise. People born with transsexualism have been recorded sine the beginning of time. There have been other such discoveries. Comments such as, this is a gay man or this was done to punish screams ignorance. Men, gay or otherwise still were warriors, even those who cooked also fought at times. And the idea of it being a punishment is laughable. If a society followed a process of hwo they buried women and how they buried men, then why is it so hard to get that clearly to those in that society looked upon the person as the woman they knew themselves to be, or as the man the knew themselves to be. It really is that simple.
Just ask, if they were transgender, how would they have been buried. Oh, just like this. Is it proof? Nope. Is it supposed to be proof? Nope. Is making up stories about how a marginalized someone was bullied (in death?) by friends (including pots and urns?) at all helpful? Nope. Is THAT proof? Nope. So why pretend that this is somehow a “counterproof?” Of course both stories work. But again, how WOULD they bury a trans-female? Like this.
Is there any chance that this person had a genetic disorder that caused them to appear female on the outside but actually be male on the inside?
She looks good for a woman her age.
It’s disheartening to see that even in the lesbian and gay community people are trying to deny that transexual has been around as long as gay has. (or, she could have been intersexed). It’s a fact, learn about other cultures over time, and you’ll see it’s always existed as well. No, it’s not as likely it was a drag queen. As someone who is in the Castro all the time and is a FTM who passes, I never cease to be amazed when I tell a gay man I’m transexual they ask me when I’m getting a boob job, and I have to explain to them “no, the other way”, because in their heads, we still don’t exist. Or, they start using female pronouns, those same people who refer to men in drag who are playing dress up as “she”.
I find it rather sad, no, let me correct that, pathetic, that the negative posters try to impose a Judeo-Christian morality standard on a society which clearly predates it.
If any of the nay sayers have any definitive proofs they can present to counter what is, at present, a logical explanation for what is known of the society of the period, I would be more than glad to read them.
All these nay sayers have to offer is out in the cosmos speculation. My advice to them is to do as we say, in the U.S.; “Put up, or shut up”.
I agree with Helen re. the possibility of intersex. A ‘male’ skeleton’ with ‘female’ grave objects and the assumption is ‘transgender’, as this is far better understood than intersex (which some people still regard as a myth). However, the clues may indicate a person with complete androgen insensitivity (CAIS).