MIDDENS are mounds of refuse. Shell middens that contain layers of discarded CLAM and MUSSEL shells are common on the coast of BC, where they are archaeological sites. During the middle period of coastal PREHISTORY they were widely used as cemeteries for burying the dead. It is likely some groups believed animal bones and shellfish remains deposited in the middens would be reincarnated in the land of the dead for the benefit of the humans buried there. See also MARPOLE MIDDEN; ARCHAEOLOGY.

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