I stumbled across the word Midden while I was reading about the Rapa Nui people. They were using the word to discribe where they had gathered information.

Obviously I had to run off and see what it meant. A midden, (also kitchen midden or shell heap) is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, vermin, shells, sherds, lithics (especially debitage), and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation.

The word is of Scandinavian via Middle English derivation, but is used by archaeologists worldwide to describe any kind of feature containing waste products relating to day-to-day human life. They may be convenient, single-use pits created by nomadic groups or long-term, designated dumps used by sedentary communities that accumulate over several generations.

Credit for this definition goes to the original Author. You can read his entire article from the following link.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midden

One response to “Midden”

  1. I saw a program on television where archaeologists were studying everything in this Roman pleasure palace. This place had a community toilet where at the bottom it still had human excrement which the archaeologists bagged up for further study. They could tell what kinds of food were eaten and there diets in general. Interesting but a strange thing to do.

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