Postcards from the field: Studying the Neolithic figurines from Koutroulou Magoula, Greece

Clay Neolithic figurines are some of the most enigmatic archaeological objects, which depict in a miniature form humans, animals, other anthropomorphic or zoomorphic beings, and often hybrid or indeterminate entities. Figurines have excited scholarly and public imagination, and have given rise to diverse interpretations. The assemblage from Koutroulou Magoula, a Middle Neolithic site – 5800-5300 BC – in central Greece (excavated under the co-direction of Prof. Yannis Hamilakis – University of Southampton/British School at Athens and Dr Kyparissi-Apostolika – Greek Ministry of Culture), offers a unique opportunity to revolutionise the way we study and understand prehistoric figurines.

The video presents the project ‘Corporeal engagements with clay’ (funded by the British Academy/ directed by Prof. Y. Hamilakis) showing aspects of our work in recording, visualising and replicating the figurines from Koutroulou Magoula by using a tailor-made database, as well as drawing, photography, photogrammetry, laser scanning, reflectance transformation imaging and 3D printing.