Archaeologists at a Neolithic settlement in Greece have discovered over 300 clay figurines — some that look like people, others that look like human-animal hybrids, all of which date back more than 7,000 years.
The little statuettes were scattered all over Koutroulou Magoula, a site about 160 miles (257 kilometers) from Athens that was occupied during the Middle Neolithic period (c. 5800 - 5300 B.C.). Researchers say Koutroulou Magoula was once home a few hundred people who made houses from stone and mud-bricks and subsisted by farming and keeping domestic animals. The archaeologists are still investigating what the artifacts say about the ancient settlement's culture.
"Figurines were thought to typically depict the female form, but our find is not only extraordinary in terms of quantity, but also quite diverse — male, female and non-gender specific ones have been found and several depict a hybrid human-bird figure," Yannis Hamilakis, co-director of the Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography project, said in a statement.