Does gay history have a newly discovered chapter?
At this point, the assertion that gays have just popped up in the last century or so is just absurd. Not only have we known of men engaging in same-sex relationships since Greek times, but we know that there have been gay love and gay people for the many centuries that came after it. But could researchers from Italy’s University of Bologna have discovered another gay couple from the Roman Empire?
Researchers have recently found that a couple of skeletons holding hands, known as the Lovers of Modena, are both men, according to BBC News. Though the bodies were discovered in 2009, the sex of the mysterious skeletons was only discovered recently thanks to a new technique using the protein of tooth enamel.
All that said, the relationship between the two is still in question. After all, holding a hand doesn’t necessarily mean you are lovers. Especially during such a dire situation as a volcano erupting. The two men could be brothers, fellow soldiers, friends, or two men enjoying another’s company during their final living moments, research study author Federico Lugli told local news source Rai News.
Of course, being lovers is also still on the table. And it is a bit homophobic that as soon as this same-sex revelation is found, historians suddenly think it’s impossible for the two skeletons to be lovers.
Aside from that, researchers also hypothesize that the two were buried at a possible war cemetery. The researchers said in Scientific Reports that the findings have profound implications for understanding funeral practices in Italy at the time, according to Nature.
But, there’s more research to be done.