Lavant Neolithic Chalk Drum
The Lavant chalk drum is a cylindrical shaped object made out of chalk, with a defined rim carved into the top. It is believed to date from the Neolithic period (New Stone Age, 4000 - 2500 BC). It was discovered in 1993 during excavations in Lavant, just north of Chichester.
The drum is almost unique; the only other known parallels are the Folkton drums, in the British Museum Collection. The Folkton drums were excavated from a child's grave in the late 19th century. Due to the circumstances of excavation of the Folkton drums, no accurate date for them has so far been gleaned. What is important about the chalk drum in The Novium's collection is that it comes from a sealed pit context. As such it offers the possibility of dating by proxy the Lavant drum itself. Research is currently being undertaken by academics from the University of Southampton to this effect. Samples for radiocarbon dating have been taken from the animal bone and antler discovered in the same pit as the drum to determine the date of the drum.