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Digital imaging and prehistoric imagery: a new analysis of the Folkton Drums

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2015

Andrew Meirion Jones
Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, UK (Email:
Andrew Cochrane
School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK
Chris Carter
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8DL, UK
Ian Dawson
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8DL, UK
Marta Díaz-Guardamino
Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, UK (Email:
Eleni Kotoula
Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, UK (Email:
Louisa Minkin
Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1C 4AA, UK


The Folkton ‘Drums’ constitute three of the most remarkable decorated objects from Neolithic Britain. New analysis using Reflectance Transformation Imaging and photogrammetry has revealed evidence for previously unrecorded motifs, erasure and reworking. Hence these chalk drums were not decorated according to a single, pre-ordained scheme, but were successively carved and recarved over time. Such practices may have been widespread in the making of artefacts in Neolithic Britain. The study of these drums also demonstrates the ability of these new techniques not only to record visible motifs, but to document erased and reworked motifs clearly.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2015 

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