Where were you in 2019?
What has changed for the whole world since then? In maybe only a few years, Archeologists may dig up the garbage that we were throwing away, then, and find out how things changed between 2019 and 2020.
WASTE is very valuable when learning about man’s activities.
Man always has a pile of waste next to where they live.
in thIS post
- Talking Trash in Archaeology
- Israel: Byzantine Era – Elusa or Halutza – Wine
- Peru: Lima – Mummy
- Italy: San Casciano dei Bagni – Bronze Statues
- Egypt: Oxyrhynchus – Trash Library of Treasure
- Israel: Valley of Bird Migration – Bone Flute
- Italy: Pompeii – Waste Management – Reuse
- Garbology is the study of trash. This is why students love it
- Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, USA – from 50 years ago
- Travel the World. Make a Difference. Dig through the World’s Trash
- Archaeology: Practice Hunting for Treasure in the Trash
- How to start a “Dig”
- Posts about what to do with Waste today
The history of WASTE
Trash—also known as garbage, waste, junk, rubbish, or refuse—holds information about people. It can tell an archaeologist about what people did in day-to-day life years ago. Archaeologists learn how people lived and the material choices they made through the trash they left behind.
If anything were to be taken from this post’s look into the history of WASTE, I would hope that you will be convinced that we need to treat all Trash as Treasure – for many reasons?
Why do Archeologists sift through the Trash of ancient man?
Because Trash Talks!
Israel: Byzantine Era – Elusa or Halutza – Wine
Some 1,500 years ago, the city of Elusa was thriving on the southern edge of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) empire, in what is now Israel’s Negev desert. The city of up to 20,000 residents featured a theater and public baths, churches and craft workshops, and innovative water management systems that enabled Elusa’s citizens to cultivate their most famous export: Gaza wine, a prized white vintage that was shipped across the Mediterranean to ports as far as France.
… After digging through layers of refuse like ash from fireplaces, bones from meat and fish, seeds from grapes and olives, discarded construction material, and broken wine jugs, the researchers found that the main dumps stopped receiving trash around year 550. “We were very surprised because we expected that the date of the abandonment of the dumps would be much later,” Bar-Oz says.
Kyle Harper, a professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma who was not involved in the new Elusa research, says garbage is an “under used” archaeological clue about the past. “We know that the sixth century A.D. experienced an unusually violent series of volcanic eruptions, triggering abrupt climate change, and even more importantly, the beginning of the first bubonic plague pandemic.” said Harper.
Peru: Lima – Mummy
Peru archaeology: Ancient mummy found under rubbish dump
Archaeologists in Peru conducting a dig at the site of a rubbish dump in the capital Lima have found a mummy they think is around 3,000 years old.
Students from San Marcos University, who are helping with the dig, first spotted the mummy’s hair and skull. …The body was wrapped in cloth made from cotton and vegetable fibre. …The Manchay people are known for building U-shaped temples oriented towards the rising sun. … The mummy had been placed in a tomb in the centre of such a U-shaped temple.
Archaeologist Miguel Aguilar said they had removed eight tonnes of rubbish from the location before their careful search for historic remains began.
The mummy is thought to date back to the times of the Manchay culture.
The Manchay lived in the area around modern-day Lima from around 1500BC to 1000BC.
The history of WASTE
Italy: San Casciano dei Bagni – Bronze Statues
Italy’s ancient bronze statues rescued by garbage man, on display
The statues were found in 2021 and 2022 in the hilltop village of San Casciano dei Bagni, still home to famous thermal baths, where archaeologists had long suspected ancient ruins could be discovered.
Initial attempts to locate them, however, were unsuccessful.
Digging started in 2019 on a small plot of land next to the village’s Renaissance-era public baths, but weeks of excavations revealed “only traces of some walls,” San Casciano Mayor Agnese Carletti said.
A retired garbage collector and local amateur historian Stefano Petrini had “a flash” of intuition, remembering that years earlier, he had seen bits of ancient Roman columns on a wall on the other side of the public baths.
The columns could only be seen from an abandoned garden that had once belonged to his friend, San Casciano’s late greengrocer, who grew fruit and vegetables there to sell in the village shop.
When Petrini took archaeologists there, they knew they had found the right spot. “It all started from there, from the columns,” Petrini said.
What is Waste?
It is usually something that has been taken, used and then rejected, cast-off, thrown away, discarded, not of any use to the user anymore. BUT that does not mean that it is has lost all it’s value. It only means that it has lost its value to the one who threw it away.
But Your Muck could be useful to someone else?
And here is one use**
Egypt: Oxyrhynchus – Trash Library of Treasure
Oxyrhynchus, Ancient Egypt’s Most Literate Trash Heap
If you don’t produce garbage, to a large extent you don’t exist to historians. Trash heaps—or “middens,” in archaeological language—are records of everyday life, the stuff so obvious (or embarrassing) you’d never bother to write it down.
ALTHOUGH POMPEII AND KING TUT get the biggest headlines, the most informative archaeological site ever discovered isn’t a town, temple, or tomb: it’s a massive garbage heap near (and partly underneath) El-Bahnasa, Egypt—a place called Oxyrhynchus. …
Oxyrhynchus is something special. It’s in a desert where it never rains, and it’s well outside any river’s flood plain. It was a multi-cultural crossroads which was alternately part of the Nubian, Persian, Greek, Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Fatimid empires. It held some of the earliest Christian monasteries and one of the oldest Egyptian mosques. Most importantly, it was a dumping ground for hundreds of thousands of pieces of papyrus—a wide-ranging library of classical texts, official records, personal correspondence, and grocery lists. …
**It contained a lot of other ancient literature that would otherwise be totally lost–most famously a Sophocles comedy and the poetry of Sappho–not to mention extensive details about everyday life in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It also held the biggest cache of early Christian manuscripts ever discovered. …
Israel: Valley of Bird Migration – Bone Flute
Archaeologists discover and replicate earliest musical instrument in the Middle East
Tiny 12,000-year-old bone hunting flute likely used to attract birds of prey for Natufian settlements in Hula Valley
Archaeologists are hearing for the first time how humans made music some 12,000 years ago, by recreating a flute that was likely used to hunt ducks and other small birds in northern Israel. …
The French-Israeli team of archaeologists discovered fragments of seven different flutes, dating to around 10,000 BCE, which is the largest collection of prehistoric sound-producing instruments ever found in the Levant. …
The site was inhabited from 12,000 BCE to 8,000 BCE, around the time when humans were undergoing a massive revolution from nomadic hunter-gatherers to more sedentary, semi-settled communities. …
“There were a lot of doubts that this was even possible [to recreate], but the replica was created exactly [in the same way] as the original and it allowed us to hear what people would have heard 12,000 years ago,” Khalaily told The Times of Israel.
“The message from this is that you really need to save everything [excavated from a site]…” said Prof. Rivka Rabinovich, the Hebrew University.
The history of WASTE
Italy: Pompeii – Waste Management – Reuse
Pompeii it seems had the same problems with “trash everywhere” that we have today and they Reused it!
I argue that, regardless of any legal interventions, garbage was an unavoidable part of Pompeian life. It covered streets, clogged drains, piled in gardens, and filled shallow pits inside inhabited rooms. Outside the city, it formed large mounds alongside the fortification walls. These suburban garbage mounds, however, do not seem to have functioned like modern landfills, throwing waste in areas far removed from normal life. Instead, they developed in the busiest areas of the suburb, which could serve as staging grounds for processes of recycling and reuse. Indeed, the recent excavations show the extent of such reuse to be far greater than has been imagined in the past. Studying waste, therefore, reflects not only on Pompeii’s sanitation, but also illuminates essential patterns of its economic and social life. Archaeologist Allison Emmerson on “The Life and Afterlife of Pompeii’s Waste”
The history of WASTE
What makes humans different from other species? To environmental engineer and Santa Clara University professor Stephanie Hughes, it’s the fact that we produce things that can’t be used again in nature. We break the cycle. Professor Hughes doesn’t even like to use the word, “waste.”
“I’m not very pleased with that terminology because really, humans are the only ones that have waste streams,” Hughes says. “In the rest of the world, this planet operates cyclically: waste from one animal becomes nutrients for another.”
Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, USA – from 50 years ago
‘Garbage’ considered a treasure trove in Fort McCoy archaeological work
“I don’t like the term garbage. … As soon as we start saying the archaeological record is full of garbage and we’re studying other people’s garbage, it makes it sound like it’s not valuable or important,” said Alexander Woods, Ph.D., an archaeologist under contract with Fort McCoy.
“It’s something of a bias to think that just because it’s more recent, it doesn’t matter. In 200 years, those chicken and beer remains would be a gold-mine find of the late 20th century,” he said. “The chicken and beer is identical to the stuff we hope to find on the prehistoric sites, where we find smashed pottery and animal bone.”
In the 1970s, an archaeologist named William Rathje helped train his students by conducting a “garbology” project. He sent his students to interview people at their homes, asking questions about how much they drank, how much they ate, what sort of foods they ate, and more.
“Unbeknownst to the people, at the end of each week, when they would put their garbage by the curb, the students would pick up the garbage and sort through it,” said Kira Kaufmann, Ph.D., archaeologist with the Fort McCoy project. They found that what people said and what people actually did were two very different things.
The best-known results of this study pertain to alcohol consumption. The analysis of household garbage indicated that the residents consumed substantially more alcohol than they were willing to admit to in questionnaires or in-person interviews.
This work also investigated the degree to which people waste food and showed, counterintuitively, that in difficult economic times, people tend to waste more food.
Rathje inferred that when money is tight, people tend to purchase certain foods —particularly meat in larger quantities when they find it on sale, only to fail to consume it all before its best-before date, thereby resulting in an increase in wasted food.
…“Garbage pits and other features are discrete time capsules,” said Kaufmann. “They teach us things we [can’t learn] from history books.”
While some might dismiss the find from the 1960s as too recent to be of any historical value, Woods said it’s important to remember that the 1960s are now 50 years old, and things that were normal in that time period are much more unusual today.
“Today, you’d be getting KFC. There’d be wings and legs; you don’t see a bunch of men with beer going out in the woods and cooking whole chickens,” he said. “That’s already starting to look like something from a different era. … …“Archaeologists dig and love disposable stuff,” he said. “You can use the word garbage, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable, and that doesn’t mean it’s not culturally beautiful and wonderful. It means it’s been disposed of.”
The history of WASTE
Archeology is everywhere there are people.
Travel the World. Make a Difference.
Dig through the World’s Trash
Archaeology Digs In 2023 – Volunteer Archaeology
Earthwatch expeditions pair researchers with volunteers to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Explore our current expeditions to discover how you can make a difference.
Archaeology: Practice Hunting for Treasure in the Trash
The natural, untouched world is not the domain of archaeology, which focuses instead on places modified by humans in the past.
Here’s an activity to help you practice turning your [or someone else’s] trash into archaeological treasure.
What you’ll need:
Step 1. Find some trash
Step 2. Prepare your archaeology lab
Step 3. Begin your excavation!
Step 4. Analyze your finds.
Step 5. Clean up!
How to start a “Dig”
The history of WASTE
Posts about what to do with Waste today
Waste; Our Assurance of future Resources
– posts on the subject:
Hard-To-Recycle Waste – What Do You Have? What Are You Looking For?
Wasterush Tools! Right To The Point!
Harvesting Waste Ideas. Waste Rushes? NOW!
Mycelium In Industry – Ancient And New
– series of 15 posts on Mycelium in Industry
Industrial Zone – Closed-Loop Networking
Urban Mining ! – More Important Than Ever
Critical Minerals & Rare Elements! ….. COLOSSAL WASTE RUSH
Useful Green WASTE Business Ideas That Can Scale To Any Size You Can Use.
Anaerobic Digestion In Full Swing – #1 Waste To Energy?
CNG, LNG, RNG Fuelling Stations – #2 Waste To Energy
#3 Municipal Solid Waste – MSW To BioFuel? Yes!
#1 Leaky Toilets Are Everyones Business!
– series of 7 posts on water,sanitation,toilets
Waste Plastic Upcycle Businesses – Opportunities, Opportunities!
– series of 5+ posts on waste plastic businesses
Jobs! With The Ocean Cleanup INTERCEPTOR™ Business!, +1000+ ECO Jobs!
COVID 19 Waste – Pick It Up Off The Street!
Eco-Printing & Packaging EQUIPMENT
Thoses posts about wastes that need present action
Too Much Methane !
Wipes – Human Behavior & False Advertising
Job Vacancies In Green Companies < More Now !