Size isn’t everything. Shells in mounds, middens and natural deposits

23rd January 2014

Mike J. Rowland


Distinguishing between natural accumulations of shells, humanly deposited shell middens or mounds, shell middens that have been redeposited by natural or human factors and deposits accumulated by birds or other animals, is an issue that has been discussed by archaeologists and others in Australia and overseas for many years.

In northern Europe, issues were identified and mostly resolved in 1851, with the publication of the initial findings of an interdisciplinary study of the Danish Kjoekkenmoeddinger or kitchen middens (Daniel 1950:87–88). These results were summarised in an American context in 1860, initiating a substantial period of investigation of middens and mounds previously considered to be of limited interest (Trigger 1986: xiii).

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Rowland, M.J.
Size isn't everything. Shells in mounds, middens and natural deposits
December 1994
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