Scientists from the European Journal of Archaeology discovered that the grave found in Finland was 1,000 years old. This, they say, shows that medieval societies “had very nuanced approaches and understandings of gender identities.”
It has always been believed that ancient societies were very closed-minded when it came to gender roles and that these were strictly categorized into men and women. However, a recent find by archaeologists in Finland may contradict that theory.
According to information from The Guardian, scientists from the European Journal of Archaeology conducted studies of a 1,000-year-old tomb in Hattula, an area in the south of the Nordic country.
The scientists were surprised that, despite being an Iron Age tomb, it contained objects that could correspond to the body of a non-binary person, meaning without a defined gender.
This tomb was studied for the first time in 1968, from which expedition jewels and brooches were obtained, as well as garments worn by women at that time. However, along with that they found a sword, a weapon that represents the masculinity of those years, since the warriors were mostly men.
At that time, it was believed that two people were buried there, a man and a woman. However, over the years and with the advance of technology, DNA tests established that the remains only belonged to one person.
Apparently, the person who’d been buried in that medieval tomb may have had Klinefelter’s syndrome, in which males are born with an extra copy of the X chromosome, which is reflected in their physical appearance, with wider hips and smaller testicles.
As they wrote in the study, the scientists believe that “the overall context of the grave indicates that this was a respected person whose gender identity may well have been non-binary.”
For those in charge of the study, this is a very relevant finding since, taking into account that this was an “ultra-masculine environment of early medieval Scandinavia”, this person, despite having feminine and masculine traits, “was not only accepted but also valued and respected”.