The Chemical Secrets of the Middens

Author(s): Ray von Wandruszka

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "The Glen Eyrie Middens: Recent Research into the Lives of General William Jackson and Mary Lincoln “Queen” Palmer and their Estate in Western Colorado Springs, Colorado." , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Archaeological excavations often produce artifacts that defy visual identification. Usually these are bottles, jars, or other containers with contents that are no longer recognizable. The analysis of such materials, which can substantially contribute to the historical narrative, is often bedeviled by chemical changes that occur during long periods of exposure. Artifacts from the Glen Eyrie Middens excavation were no exception. Some were generic bottles with contents that were a priori unknown, while others, such as a tube of toothpaste, were easily recognizable. The latter case, however, still led to interesting questions regarding formulation. Repurposed containers, the contents of which bore no relationship to their original use, were also uncovered. Chemical analyses carried out on these artifacts yielded some interesting and surprising results.

Cite this Record

The Chemical Secrets of the Middens. Ray von Wandruszka. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457554)


Temporal Keywords
19th-20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 184