If you think the acceptance of non-traditional gender roles is a product of the new generation, think again. Researchers in Finland say they’ve determined a body found in a 1,000-year old grave could be that of a nonbinary person. And not just any person.
Research teams found the body and grave in Hattula, Finland at Suontaka Vesitorninmäki. According to a study published in Tuesday’s European Journal of Archaeology, the body inside the iron grave was that of a leader or someone who was loved by many.
“The overall context of the grave indicates that it was a respected person whose gender identity may well have been nonbinary,” the study reads. When someone is nonbinary, like pop singer Demi Lovato, they do not necessarily identify as a man or a woman.
Man, Woman, or Non-Binary?
The grave was first discovered in 1968. However, because researchers initially assumed this revered leader wore women’s clothing, they believed this grave to be that of a woman. But, recently, a sword found in the grave puzzled researchers. Traditionally, men are buried alongside swords, they say. So, researchers recently ran a DNA test on the body. They found that this person is most likely anatomically a male with Klinefelter syndrome, which means they have an extra X chromosome.
This is incredibly significant to science and history because it shows evidence of non-binarism in an older society. This actually reminds me a lot of two-spirit individuals from Indigenous societies. According to LGBTQHealth.ca, people who identify as two-spirit believe they have both a masculine and feminine spirit. In 1990, Elder Myra Laramee coined the English term “two-spirit”. But, the concept of “two-spirited” people goes much further back in Indigenous societies. Members of these societies highly revered two-spirit people.
What do you think being buried with the sword means?