Grave Goods


A commission to create a print about the Folkton Drums, to accompany a poem by Michael Rosen for the Grave Goods Project. 

Grave Goods: Objects and Death in Prehistory’ is a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Project, led by Anwen Cooper, Duncan Garrow (University of Reading), Mel Giles (University of Manchester), Neil Wilkin (British Museum) and Catriona Gibson. It focuses on material culture in graves and other formal mortuary contexts in Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain.

Rose created a screenprint of the Folkton Drums. These decorated chalk drums date to the Neolithic and were found in the grave of a child during the excavation of a barrow near Folkton on the Yorkshire Wolds. They are intriguing and very personable objects, their form and decoration inviting wide interpretation. The print reflected their archaeological context, aspects of their decoration and interpretation, and the feeling and emotion in Michael Rosen’s poem. 

The print was used in an educational pack for schools and by the British Museum for their ‘Death, Memory and Meaning’ trail online. It also features on the cover of the Grave Goods book which is also available free online. You can read more about Michael Rosen’s poems and the work of the other artists here.

The Folkton Drums are on display at the British Museum. A card of the print is available from the British Museum shop.