kitchen midden

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kitchen midden,

refuse heap left by a prehistoric settlement; more specifically, a deposit consisting primarily of discarded shell and related cultural material in coastal environments. First studied (1848) in Denmark, middens are an important source of ecological and cultural information. Kitchen middens, generally known as shell mounds in the Americas, usually date from the late Mesolithic periodMesolithic period
or Middle Stone Age,
period in human development between the end of the Paleolithic period and the beginning of the Neolithic period. It began with the end of the last glacial period over 10,000 years ago and evolved into the Neolithic period; this
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. Their contents include artifacts that can be dated, suggesting the mode of life and technology of ancient peoples. Analysis of animal remains can indicate the climate, season, length of occupation, hunting patterns, and the possible presence of domestication. Such middens generally represent only one component of a complex foraging strategy of migratory hunter-gatherers.

Kitchen Midden


(also shell mound, shell heap), an accumulation of shells of edible mollusks and other food remains at certain habitation sites of the Neolithic period (about the fifth to third millennia B.C.). They are generally found on seacoasts and riverbanks. The best studied are those in Denmark, where they measure as much as 100 to 300 m long and 1 to 3 m high. Small kitchen middens have been found in the USSR in the vicinity of the Dnieper River.

References in periodicals archive ?
The authors particularly acknowledge the sustained fieldwork and ongoing research efforts of Adam Gwilt, Mark Lodwick and Jody Deacon in investigating the Llanmaes midden, and appreciate their continued support throughout this faunal research project.
Increased climatic variability after 4000 BP coincides with increasing numbers of shell mounds, earth mounds and shell middens recorded for this time period, along with continued occupation of rock-shelters (Appendix).
Every midden within the boundaries of each site was excavated, regardless of appearance.
The rats that built the middens are herbivores, but much of their building material consists of bones, hair, scats (droppings), and the like, derived from the prey of carnivores.
This shell midden, located on the lower Jourdan River on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, was periodically utilized from 100 BC to 1500 AD.
Open procedures for fleet insurance by the IFV for the benefit of the safety Hollands Midden.
Whiston Vets beat Midden 4-0 in the Vets Over 40s Division after a Taylor double was added to by goals from McGann and Lee as REMYCA enjoyed a 3-1 win at Cafe D' Art and De La Salle OB drew 1-1 with Shakespeare United after Charles and McGuiness were the respective scorers.
Excavation in 2011 demonstrated that significant parts of the midden are still intact, yielding rich assemblages of fish bone and mollusc shell, as well as herbivore, human and bird bones, together with artefactual remains.
Environmental crime prosecutor Shona McJannett told the court that bedding straw, dung and stomach contents of slaughtered animals were stored in a midden at the abattoir before being spread on local farmland.
A team of researchers is tracing the climate history of South Africa by looking at the midden heaps -- the animal equivalent of a latrine -- of the rock hyrax, a furry creature about the size of a guinea pig.
HAIR ZHE IS How early man looked PAINSTAKING nWorkers sift through boxes of sand MIDDEN n EARTH Experts dig at the cooking area HISTORIC DISCOVERY Archaelogists on Fanore Beach in Co Clare
In the western part of their range, individuals defend a territory centered on a conspicuous cache of cones, or midden (Gurnell, 1987), formed by concentrated feeding (Finley, 1969).