I once wrote about a miniature kÃ¸kkenmÃ¸dding shell midden that accreted in our kitchen sink when we had oysters (image below). Another type of archaeological assemblage that occurs far more commonly in our house is the chicken or pork bone dump. The chicken bones usually don’t look very archaeological when we throw them out since they tend to be discoloured and still partly covered in soft tissue. But as you can see above, what remains after my wife has cooked pork broth on flÃ¤skben, cheap bony butchering leftovers, could be sitting in a tagged zip baggie on any urban dig.
Our boiled pork bones would be particularly interesting to an osteologist as my wife and other Chinese women in our circles like to gnaw them assiduously, sometimes even going so far as to chew the spongiosa structure inside larger bones. I’m not talking marrow here, it’s more like a petrified kitchen sponge that the ladies grind to sand between their teeth. I read somewhere that the reason so many Chinese people go into the restaurant business is that for the past several millennia, not one generation of Chinese people has been spared famine.