Bringing the Neolithic Figurines of Koutroulou Magoula Back to Life

By sbrennan | January 23, 2014

A few weeks ago we started our project ‘Corporeal engagements with clay’ (funded by the British Academy) aimed at recording, visualising and replicating the figurines from Koutroulou Magoula by using a tailor-made database so as to input all their details, as well as drawing, photography, laser scanning and 3D printing. Integral part of our work is the simultaneous collaboration between different specialists in recording and visualisation techniques, since each of the methods used provide details that could not be captured by any other means. Moreover, ten selected find spots of figurines will be radiocarbon-dated. Petrographic analysis will be carried out on 50 examples, to investigate provenance, and selection and processing of raw materials. Since several figurines were found in association with hearths, thermal shock resistance analysis will be carried out, to determine the thermal properties of the clay used, and explore the hypothesis of deliberate destruction by fire. We will also study their associations with other objects and the settlement as a whole, as well as the technological choices that governed the production of figurines. In addition, we will explore the possibility of their deliberate fragmentation.

The results, which will revolutionise the way we understand these objects, will be available to the public through an open database, which will also include the interactive 3D imagery obtained by the laser scanner. They will also be published as a separate monograph and articles in academic journals and popular magazines.

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