Talk:Midden

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additional info in the 1911 Britannica[edit]

There is some additional info in the 1911 Britannica in the "Shell-heaps" article: http://2.1911encyclopedia.org/S/SH/SHELL_HEAPS.htm if anyone is interested in integrating that info. --DanielCD 29 June 2005 16:27 (UTC)

Shellmounds in San Mateo County[edit]

The Californian Aboriginals known (incorrectly) as Oholone, or Costanos, is a topic of my article for December or earlier. Currently too many irons on the fire. In any case, I plan on using the UCB papers by Nelson(1909) and Cook(1946). Any comments or more current information welcome. meatclerk 08:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I took the reference in EXAMPLE of many Australian shell middens being over 40,000 years old. I think this incorrectly refers to Mungo Man remains found in a central desert area of NSW which was carbon dated to this antiquity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.7.166.180 (talk) 21:54, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Anthropocentric article[edit]

This article could very easily be called Human midden rather than middens in general. I would like to see it reworked to reflect the general concept of a midden and have subsections for middens created by different organisms. Midden analysis is a major technique in surveying diets of octopuses, harvester ants and pack rats (I know there is a link at the bottom of the article) among others. Pack rat middens have pervasive use in general ecological assesment beyond simply being used as an indicator as rat diet. All that being said, having this article simply deal with human middens seems to betray the pervasive nature of the phenomenon and its use in science. Unless someone has some objections, I will likely try to rework this article in the near future. Taollan82 (talk) 19:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Allenwc (talk) 05:29, 10 November 2008 (UTC) This article resides in the archaeology section. As such, in archaeological circles middens refer to original Dutch usage, to whit, kitchen garbage pile. In other areas of study the term may have been borrowed but that does not invalidate the original usage, nor does it necessitate a renaming. However, I believe that a disambiguation article could be added if you really feel it necessary. Or, you could add further links directing people to other articles, but I don't feel that renaming this article would be helpful. In fact, I feel it would make things more difficult for archaeology and anthropology students looking for accurate information.
ZayZayEM (talk) 07:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC) The concepts appear quite distinct. I think that the midden you refer to might be better located at midden (ecology). And also note that the middens described in Pack Rat appear to be an entirely different concept again, namely a nest, receiving its name because it resembles a "mess" and is "built out of sticks" and other materials, not necessarily waste materials from domestic behaviour (namely eating).

Were middens always dumps?[edit]

The aboriginal middens I saw as a boy in Australia seemed to be located where the shelter was best. I'd assumed from this that those taking shelter there and consuming their shellfish etc. simply dropped the refuse where it had been consumed and allowed it to pile up there. My question to those who've looked more closely at early middens would be, does it seem to you that care was taken to deposit the refuse in less than the prime real estate within the shelter? If not then characterizing a midden as merely a "dump" might not be doing it justice, at least for those particular middens, where it may well have been the centre of its users' domicile. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 02:37, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Allenwc (talk) 17:39, 27 November 2008 (UTC) The vast majority of middens are refuse dumps outside of normal domiciles. Even most cave dwellings, though certainly not all, have the tip outside the main occupied body of the cave. Not all middens are directly outside the dwelling. Many are located some distance away. Also, many middens are located at processing sites, which may be a great distance from the dwelling site. For example, on Vancouver Island they would harvest the shellfish from canoes, and the bring them to the nearest shore and process them, then take them to their houses in wooden boxes for smoking and storage. At another site, the refuse was dumped along the shore line to create better canoe docking areas, so that the canoe could be unloaded without taking it out of the water or requiring the people to step into the water.

Køkkenmødding means kitchen midden[edit]

The article says: The Danish word for shell mound or midden mound køkkenmødding or koekken-moedding is now used internationally.

  1. "køkken" means "kitchen", not shell as could be understood from this sentence, while "midden mound" is a pleonasm, so some rewriting seems in order.
  2. "midden", from "mødding" (waste mound/landfill), is clearly used internationally (in archaeology). However, are there any sources confirming same for "køkkenmødding" and "koekken-moedding"?

Assuming the latter can be found, I propose to change the sentence to something along the lines of: "Midden" derives from the Danish word mødding meaning landfill or waste mound. It is now used internationally, primarily as an archaeological term. Køkkenmødding or koekken-moedding (kitchen midden) may also be used. Untrue Believer (talk) 13:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)