Route 66 Midden

Middens provide endless fascination for archaeologists. Middens yield information about human diet and behavior, social ranking and wealth, environment, and climate change.

Oh, “midden” is the name scientists use for old trash. It comes from the Danish word “køkkenmødding,” literally translated as kitchen mound. Middens are places where garbage was dumped, usually out of the way from normal traffic, out of sight and away from smell.

Or in plain sight and ten feet from traffic.

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“It winds from Chicago to L.A.”

John Steinbeck called Route 66 “The Mother Road” in his book The Grapes of Wrath. The highway has come to symbolize the movement west by people looking for new beginnings. Bobby Troup composed his classic “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” while driving to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune. A few years ago, I made the pilgrimage.

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