Thursday, 7 April 2011

Archaeology: Queens Of The Stone Age

'I’m The Stone Age Gay In The Village'
This is The Sun's inimitable take on the story that archaeologists have found the body of a Stone Age man in the Czech Republic who was buried in a way they claim was usually reserved for women; facing west and with household jugs, but no weapons.
And look! They've even provided a helpful illustration of exactly what a Stone Age gay man would look like.
I'm not too sure where he would have got the handbag, but let's go with it.
Although other cultures are known to have seen - and often revered - male homosexuals as a special, sometimes Shamanic "third-sex", I've yet to find one newspaper who questioned the assumptions about "the first homosexual caveman" (Telegraph. Photocaption: 'Y M C Cave!') who was "'outed' by the way he was buried" (Mail) - but hey, when in doubt print the prehistoric legend.*
Fagburn wonders if this chap will turn out to be the Piltdown gay man?

* Just seen John Rentoul's blog on The Independent, which begins by quoting the Daily Mail's original headline; 'Is this the world’s first gay caveman?' Number 566 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No was asked by the Daily Mail until it changed the headline. Perhaps they forgot that I was onto them. Fortunately, PaulH61, who spotted it, kept an old link and I recovered the old front page from the cache."
The Mail appear to have answered their own question. Their headline now reads 'The Oldest Gay In the Village' and announces that "the first known gay caveman has emerged into the daylight."
Err, so the Mail has actually changed it from something slightly sceptical into an even worse headline.

• For the record, the first human fossil, the Red Lady of Paviland, was discovered in 1823. It wasn't until the 1940s that the "lady" was correctly identified as a man. Moral: Even experts get stuff wrong...

Update: LiveScience blog on why the claim may be bollocks.
Update 2: An interesting piece in Salon on the "absurdity" of much of the coverage of this story.

No comments:

Post a comment