The read archaic shell midden in Kentucky

George R. Milner, Richard W. Jefferies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Read site was one of several large shell heaps along the Green River in Kentucky that were dug during the Great Depression. Like many similar sites in the Midsouth, it contained numerous burials and other features. Customarily considered deep middens that accumulated in long-occupied places, such sites recently have been interpreted as intentional constructions of some ceremonial significance that encompassed formal cemeteries. Such inferences bolster arguments about territoriality and societal complexity among the hunters-gatherers who used the mounds. Reanalyses of field records and hundreds of artifacts and human skeletons indicate that, contrary to recent assertions, Read was indeed a habitation site with a long history. People also were buried there; the graves of juveniles and adults, and both males and females, were scattered through the midden deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119
Number of pages1
JournalSoutheastern Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology


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