Bringing the Neolithic Figurines of Koutroulou Magoula Back to Life
Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Archaeological Computing Research Group, 21-01-2014
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 – Greek Ministry of Culture), offers a unique opportunity to revolutionise the way we study and understand prehistoric figurines. This assemblage, one of the ten most significant archaeological discoveries in 2013 according to Heritage Daily, is the largest in Greece, and one of the largest in Southeastern Europe: more than 300 figurines and figurine parts have been retrieved to date (2001-2012) from a relatively limited excavation area, and all their contextual associations have been meticulously recorded.