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World's oldest known depiction of couple having sex comes to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:59 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:59 06 June 2019

Ain Sakhri lovers, Jordan, about 9000 BC  Picture: The Trustees of the British Museum

Ain Sakhri lovers, Jordan, about 9000 BC Picture: The Trustees of the British Museum

The Trustees of the British Museum

Lovers carved into a stone and a deck of drag queen cards are part of a British Museum exhibition exploring LGBTQ history

Drag Queen Deck by Otsuka Takashi (b.1948)
Japan, 1997.   Picture: The Trustees of the British MuseumDrag Queen Deck by Otsuka Takashi (b.1948) Japan, 1997. Picture: The Trustees of the British Museum

The oldest known depiction of a couple having sex arrives in Norwich on Saturday.

The 11,000-year-old stone was found in a cave in the Judean desert near Bethlehem and shows a couple, who are not obviously male or female, carved into a pebble.

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Ain Sakhri Lovers is part of an exhibition of objects from the British Museum at the Forum, Norwich, from June 8 to August 31.

Desire, Love, Identity explores LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) history through items from the London museum. It includes a bust of Antinous, lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, an ancient Greek vase showing the poet Sappho, etchings by David Hockney, and a Japanese deck of cards picturing drag queens.

The exhibition will also showcase items from LGBTQ history in Norfolk from the Norfolk Heritage Centre, and a programme of linked events includes talks, a guerrilla knitting workshop and the chance to tell your own story. Linked events include Norwich Pride celebrations on July 27, and Creative Pride, throughout July, co-ordinated by Norwich Theatre Royal.

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