Midden B


     Midden B was a shell deposit that formed a crescent-shaped area extending 160 feet along the bayou and up to 40 feet wide. It was first excavated in 1938, when a CCC crew dug 53 units. Nearly all of the squares were dug in a single level. The crew dug down to the top of the water table but did not reach the bottom of the site.


     During the 1940/1941 project, a WPA crew returned to Midden B and completed the excavation of this midden. The men excavated 128 squares. The

excavators dug the units in 6-inch levels to a depth of 4.5 feet.


     Midden B was different from Midden A. First, it was composed mostly of shell. Second, it had only three burials. Third, stone points, pipes, bone tools and pigment stones were only half as common as at Midden A. The ceramics from Midden B indicated that people began using this area after they had been living at Midden A for some time. The fact that Midden B consisted entirely of shell suggested that the area was primarily for collecting and using clams. The differences in artifacts confirm that Midden B was a special activity area for the people living at Midden A. They used many tools in the residential area that they did not need in the clam processing area.

Cross-section (side-view) map of Midden B. Figure 5 from The Tchefuncte Culture, an Early Occupation of the Lower Mississippi Valley by James A. Ford and George I. Quimby, Jr., 1945; Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology No. 2, published jointly by the Society for American Archaeology and Louisiana State University Press.


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