Kitchen middens


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Kitch´en mid`dens

    (kĭch´ĕn mĭd`d'nz)
n. pl.1.Relics of neolithic man found on the coast of Denmark, consisting of shell mounds, some of which are ten feet high, one thousand feet long, and two hundred feet wide. The name is applied also to similar mounds found on the American coast from Canada to Florida, made by the North American Indians.
References in classic literature ?
The wooden dining-room stuck out over the mud of the shore like a lacustrine dwelling; the planks of the floor seemed rotten; a decrepit old waiter tottered pathetically to and fro before an antediluvian and worm-eaten sideboard; the chipped plates might have been disinterred from some kitchen midden near an inhab ited lake; and the chops recalled times more ancient still.
The steam shovels broke through vast masses of shell heaps, the kitchen middens or refuse dumps of early Indians.
A] reported case does in some ways resemble those traces of past human activity--crop marks, post holes, the footings of walls, pipe stems, pottery shards, kitchen middens, and so forth, from which the archaeologist attempts, by excavation, scientific testing, comparison, and analysis to reconstruct and make sense of the past.