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The Independent Online

Has the worship of women always meant the emasculation of men? Archaeologists in Catterick, North Yorkshire, have discovered the skeleton of a cross-dressing eunuch dating back to the 4th century.

Has the worship of women always meant the emasculation of men? Archaeologists in Catterick, North Yorkshire, have discovered the skeleton of a cross-dressing eunuch dating back to the 4th century.

The skeleton – found dressed in women's clothes and jewellery – is believed to have once been a castrated priest who worshipped the eastern goddess Cybele. He wore a jet necklace, a jet bracelet, a shale armlet and a bronze expanding anklet and had two stones placed in his mouth. Cross-dressing, transvestism and, possibly, the concept of the drag artist are obviously not such modern concepts as we might have believed. It has certainly given us a new perspective on Catterick, in those far-off days of Roman occupation as today, an important military garrison with a decidedly butch image. We wonder where the modern equivalent of this cross-dressing eunuch must be.

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