Department of Anthropology PhD alumna Kathryn Frederick, undergraduate alumna Rebecca Albert, and Professor Emeritus William Lovis recently published an article in the Wisconsin Archeologist titled, “The Green Site Acorn Parching Feature: Analysis and Actualistic Replication of an Early Late Woodland Acorn Processing Pit.” The article discusses the several experiments designed to replicate a 1200-year-old acorn parching facility, part of an ongoing project into indigenous Great Lakes subterranean food storage (MSUStore) protocols and practices.
The full article is available from the authors.
Abstract: “The Green site, in Shiawassee County, Michigan is an Early Late Woodland locale with a single deep, burned, circular pit feature, 130 cm in diameter, consisting of a thin 20 cm layer of hundreds of carbonized acorns and oak wood. It is hypothesized that the Green site feature was an acorn processing pit—used to dry acorns to prolong their shelf life; a necessary first step before subterranean caching. A median 14C age of cal AD 783 reveals substantial time depth for the process of parching acorns for preservation. Features such as this, revealing the technology for such processing, have only been identified at a handful of sites and therefore are still poorly understood. Two replicative archaeological experiments were conducted to inform on the method behind this approach to acorn drying and charring. We summarize the excavation, analysis, and replicative experimental results of the Green site feature.”05.19.20