Archaeologists have discovered what they are identifying as a 5000-year old skeleton of a transgender person.
Unearthed in a suburb of Prague, the male skeleton was buried as if it was the skeleton of a woman. The body is believed to date to between 2900 and 2500 BC and is from what is called the Corded Ware culture of the Copper Age. That culture seems to have had very strict burial rites, with the men buried with their heads facing west with their bodies surrounded by weapons and women buried with their heads facing east and their bodies surrounded by domestic jugs.
The Prague skeleton was found surrounded by jugs with its head to the east.
From history and ethnology, we know that when a culture had strict burial rules they never made mistakes with these sort of things.
--Kamila Remišovám, head of the research team
The commentary to the PinkNews article is filled with doubters...and reads like it is transpeople who found the body and are claiming it as one of our own.
I think most of us are content to let the archaeologists be the experts here.
We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a ‘transsexual’ or ‘third gender grave’ in the Czech Republic.Previously a female skeleton from the Mesolithic period was found to be buried with weapons. It is presumed that person was a warrior.
--Kateřina Semrádová, archaeologist
Matt Kailey has commentary at Tranifesto.
Of course, “trans” meant nothing back then. Our concept of transgender or transsexual as a misalignment of gender identity and physical body is a modern one and also a cultural one.
But the skeleton lends further proof (as if we really needed it) to the idea that the phenomenon or “condition” that we call “trans” in modern Western culture has been present throughout all cultures in all time periods.
But even more important than providing additional documentation for a fact that we already know is the respectful means of burial for these people. The burial of the individual who was identified as “male” was just like that of a female, indicating that this culture recognized this person for who she really was – likewise for the “female” warrior who was buried in the male tradition.