852. Middens

All along Asilomar’s coastal trail are Middens, archeological sites that tell us about the indigenous peoples who once lived here. Up until the 1600s, the Rumsien people of the Monterey Peninsula shared this land only with the abundant wildlife. They lived in inland villages. The men hunted birds, seals, sea lions, and fish along the shore. The women collected shellfish from the tide pools. BANCROFT : And they would process it in their temporary village sites. And they would clean the shells out … drying it in the sun. Now what’s interesting is, they left things behind. And we call it a kitchen midden. A midden site is nothing but darkened soil with remnants of the things that they hunted and collected … the invertebrates, the abalone … broken down into pieces over years and years. NARRATOR: The middens of the Monterey Bay Area have given archaeologists valuable clues to Asilomar’s indigenous culture. Please remember, archaeological sites are protected. Disturbing or removing artifacts is prohibited.