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View Diary: Two years ago: Archaeologists announce discovery of 5000-year-old transgender skeleton (104 comments)

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  •  Yes, that could be (8+ / 0-)

    but typically when foks bury someone to disgrace them, they would not be placed with other non-disgraced people, and typically there are other indicators...mostly significant pre and post death violence. For lack of a better way to say it, in prehistoric societies when they want to humiliate someone, it ain't subtle.

    The identification of mixed or 3rd gender folks has become pretty normal in archaeology, and this would not be are find except for how early it is.

    Its archaeology, so we can never be sure, but based on common patterns we see, this seems like a pretty solid ID to me (though I haven't looked at the site report, so I ain't gonna put money on it).

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:21:12 PM PDT

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    •  Of course, it's only our best guess (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, rserven, kyril, Kimbeaux

      that pre-death and/or post-death violence to the prehistoric corpse indicates disgrace.

      It's a good guess in my opinion, but we can't rule out the possibility that there's something else going on that we lack the cultural referents to spot.

      •  Yup (5+ / 0-)

        as always, if you want certainty, archaeology ain't the place to be hanging out.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:54:56 PM PDT

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        •  This is actually why I gave up (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel, rserven, kyril

          on studying archaeology in college.  I took an intro course and a lot of it was pretty fascinating, but I lost patience with how many interpretations were being presented as obvious facts, instead of as the rank speculation that they were.

          •  There is a great deal of space between (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, rserven, kyril, Kimbeaux

            obvious and rank speculation.  In my teaching I have found many students who have a hard time seeing that (and they tend to not become archaeologists).

            Archaeologists use terms like "likely" a lot, "very likely, "less likely," etc. etc.

            Being an archaeologists is like walking on jello...some people get into it, but others just get spooked.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:03:50 PM PDT

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      •  given the comments above (3+ / 0-)

        by an archeologist who states:

        As for this case, it strikes me as interesting, but unremarkable.  I am an archaeologist, and finding people buried like this (a man as a woman, a woman as a man) is actually becoming pretty normal.  Its actually part of the stuff I teach in my 101 classes.

        This one is earlier than any others I've heard of, but otherwise it sounds pretty typical.  The short version is that most societies throughout most of history have had what we would now call transgendered people.

         

        I think you might want to reconsider your guess.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:59:11 PM PDT

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        •  No no no, I wasn't talking about THIS burial (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rserven, kyril, middleagedhousewife

          when I said I think it's a good guess -- I was talking about the burials Empty Vessel mentions where there were clear signs of violence done to the corpse.

          See my earlier comment above: I think man-being-buried-as-woman-must-mean-disgrace is a terrible guess.

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