Archeologists from the University of Southampton working in collaboration with the Greek Archeological Service and the British School at Athens reported the discovery of over 300 Neolithic clay figurines at the Koutroulou Magoula site near the Greek village of Neo Monastiri on Jan. 7, 2013, at the Alpha Galileo website.
The figurines date from 5,800 to 5,300 BC. Male, female, and sexless human figures were included in the find. Several of the figurines depict a hybrid human-bird figure. This discovery is unusual because most Neolithic sculpture discovered from the same time periods only depict the female form.
The placement of the statues in almost every structure in the Koutroulou Magoula site as well as the number of figurines found indicate the purpose of figurines was not only as aesthetic art, but also to convey and reflect ideas about a community's culture, society and identity.
The inhabitants of the Koutroulou Magoula site displayed no evidence of centralized authority or government yet there is abundant evidence of trade with other villages and cooperative building programs within the group of several hundred people who occupied the Koutroulou Magoula village in Neolithic times.
The people of Koutroulou Magoula were farmers that kept domesticated animals and made architecturally sophisticated houses from stone and mud bricks.