The Classification of the Clay Drums of the Southern Trichterbecher Culture

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Simon Wyatt


Musical Instruments are often over looked in our view of the past and although recently interest in this particular field of human endeavour has been increasing, the standard textbooks on prehistory still make little mention of this art.
The drums of the southern Trichterbecher culture have been recognised for more than a century and for half of that time we have relied on the classification scheme of Ulrich Fischer (1951). While every so often a new approach to these drums is proposed, it seems that none of them are able to reflect all the distinctive features so characteristic of the southern TRB.
The classification scheme presented here relies heavily on the work of Fischer, but in the 50 years since he wrote many more drums have been unearthed. With this wealth of new contextual data it is possible to elaborate Fischer’s drum types, and this further division is supported by the parallel distribution of decorative motifs. Here we may propose that distinct drum types existed, associated with the living or the dead.

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How to Cite
Wyatt, Simon. 2008. “The Classification of the Clay Drums of the Southern Trichterbecher Culture”. Journal of Neolithic Archaeology, July.