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Gay History – May, 24 BC: First Recorded Same-Sex Couple Buried In Egyptian Tomb

In 1964 in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Moussa discovered a series of  tombs with rock-cut passages in the escarpment facing the causeway that lead to the pyramid of Unas.  Chief Inspector Mounir Basta reported crawling on his hands and knees through the passages, entering one of the Old Kingdom tombs discovered burial chambers of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum servants and royal confidants at the Palace of King Niuserre during the Fifth Dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs and are believed to be the first recorded same-sex couple in recorded history

The main portrait of the ‘boys’ in the tomb show them nose to nose in a close embrace, a clone of the portrait style used in other Egyptian tomb art of the era to showcase male-female married couples and the hieroglyphs in the tomb have their names are strung together in a blessings that translates as “joined in life and joined in death.”

While some Egyption scholars scoff at the idea of this being an example of early same-sex coupling. Many disagree chalking up the denials to nothing more than blatant homophobia.

“Calling attention to the most intimate scene of the two embracing men,” Greg Reeder, an independent scholar in San Francisco and a contributing editor of KMT, a magazine of Egyptian art and history said : “They are so close together here that not only are they face to face and nose to nose, but so close that the knots on their belts are touching, linking their lower torsos. If this scene were composed of a male-female couple instead of the same-sex couple we have here, there would be little question concerning what it is we are seeing.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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