1,000-Year-Old Warrior May Have Been Non-Binary.

A surprising find in Finland suggests that the remains could belong to a leader from over a millennium ago. Some experts speculate that this individual might have identified as non-binary.

Ancient civilizations and their gender roles have long been a topic of interest. However, this examination of the burial site indicates that non-binary individuals not only existed within these societies, but were also highly respected.

The remains were analyzed using DNA testing, which revealed that the person might have been a high-status individual who identified as non-binary. Archaeologists are uncertain about the exact nature of the remains, but when the new DNA testing confirmed that there was only one body, it provided further insight into the matter.

In 1968, construction work revealed the remains for the first time. Inside the grave, there were pieces of clothing, jewelry, and other items indicating that the deceased person had been wearing a ‘typical feminine outfit from that time period.’

A sword without a hilt was found in the tomb, along with a second sword placed on top of the first. These items are commonly linked to masculinity.

Ulla Moilanen, the study’s main author, suggests that the buried person held a significant position within their community.

“They were laid in the grave on a soft feather blanket with valuable furs and objects.”

Initially, it was believed that the grave contained two individuals, a male and a female. Additionally, it was seen as proof of the existence of female rulers during medieval times in Finland.

Additional DNA analysis revealed that the burial site contained a solitary person who possessed a medical condition called Klinefelter syndrome. This condition occurs when a male is born with an additional X chromosome, which is typically found in female DNA.

Around 1 in every 660 men are believed to have this condition. Despite having an extra X chromosome, they are still biologically male and are often unaware of it. This condition can lead to a smaller penis and testicles, a decreased sex drive, infertility, and larger breasts.

It is not known whether the DNA results were obtained from a small sample or if modeling was necessary to obtain the results. However, they believe that the body likely had XXY chromosomes and because it was a burial of high status, the individual was likely outside the traditional gender categories.

Moilanen added that the person “might not have been considered strictly a female or a male in the early middle ages community. The abundant collection of objects buried in the grave is proof that the person was not only accepted but also valued and respected.”

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