This intact oven bed was found near the center of the Honey Creek midden. The concrete goat shed wall ran right over it, but did no harm. Notice the dark carbon-stained midden soil found in the central area of the midden. Oven after oven was built and rebuilt in this “black hole” at the center of the midden. Each oven episode involved cleaning out the debris leftover from the last one, pitching out the small fire-cracked rocks and recycling those still big enough to be useful. New cooking rocks were added as necessary and a roaring fire was built to heat the rocks. A wooden pole may have been used to form an even circular bed of hot rocks upon which layers of plant food and packing material were heaped, capped by a thick layer of earth to hold in the steamy heat. Two days later, the baked bulbs and roots were ready to eat. When the food was removed, the oven bed remained intact. So, the bed seen here is probably the remains of the last oven ever built in the Honey Creek midden. TARL archives.
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