The October meeting of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society will be held at the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History on Thursday, 1 October 2015, at 7:00 PM. Kate Frederick will present recent experimental archaeology research on storage pits. As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The full meeting announcement is copied below.
Saginaw Valley Chapter October meeting:
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Castle Museum of Saginaw County History, 500 Federal Ave,. Saginaw, MI 48607
Please join us for our October meeting.
Kate Frederick will give the presentation “Holes: A Beginners Guide to Food Storage”.
The Michigan State University Subterranean Storage Research Experiment (MSU SStoRE) employed experimental archaeology to better understand the storage efficiency, capacity, and reliability of hunter-gatherer food storage pits. Drawing on archaeological, ethnographic, and ethnohistoric information the project accurately recreated below ground storage pits for the late Late Woodland period (A.D. 1000-1600) of northern lower Michigan. Over three consecutive yearly cycles, subterranean storage pits were constructed with appropriate lining materials, filled with dried blueberries, acorns, and corn, and cached from November until late March. During the five month period the pits were monitored for temperature and humidity multiple times daily. Revisions were made each annual cycle, culminating in a successful storage episode. The most recent caching of foodstuffs was tested for mycotoxins, pathogens, and water activity level in order to determine food safety.
This paper discusses the lessons learned, resulting degree of success, and the importance of MSU SStoRE for archaeological research.