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Shell Midden

Ancient-Shell-Heap-Shinnecock-Hills-Golf-Club-The-Shinnecock-Indians-a-culture-history-vol-vi-Gaynell-Stone-1983 Shell Midden Jeremy Dennis On This Site

View of Sebonac swamp and Ancient Shell Heaps. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is in the background. (Neg no. 12539. Courtesy American Museum of Natural History. Photo: M. R. Harrington, M. I. Smith.) From Gaynell Stone, The Shinnecock Indians – A Culture History Vol VI 1983, pp. 284



The shell midden deposit has been of interest to archaeologists, formally, since 1849 when Worsaae convinced Steenstrup that the Danish sites were cultural refuse heaps  rather than natural shell beds (Bibby 1956: 118). Though kitchen middens, shell heaps, mounds, sambaquis, and other named shell deposits have been recognized and excavated around the world ever since – and served as data for important theories – the specific behaviors and processes responsible for their formation and subsequent transformation remain poorly known. 1

Image above: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club


5I5A4792-300x200 Shell Midden Jeremy Dennis On This Site

Poquahoc Uhtuk


Poquahoc Uhtuk is a place that was used prehistorically as a summer and fall "clambake" site. Food remains, shell heaps, fire pits, and ceramics were found in the area, showing evidence of indigenous occupation.




Duke-Site-II-300x144 Shell Midden Jeremy Dennis On This Site

Duke Site


The Duke site, named after Anthony Drexel Duke, is a site that was excavated by the New York State Archaeological Association, L.I. Chapter in 1974.  On this site, a shell midden was found, suggesting the presence of indigenous occupation in the area.Nearby is the well-document Ashawagh settlement site, located on the shore of Hand's Creek, west of Three Mile Harbor.




5I5A7096-Pano-300x132 Shell Midden Jeremy Dennis On This Site



The Fort Pond site, once known as Konkhunganik in the 1800s for it's south shore and Quanuntowunk as it's north shore. This eastern shore site represents a seasonally recurrent base camp for nomadic hunter-gatherers and their extended families. The site was utilized during the early portion of the Late woodland during the winter and fall. In archaeological context, the site is known as the Payne site.




  1. Lynn Cici, Shell Midden Deposits as Coastal Resources, World Archaeology Volume 16 No. 1, 1984 pp. 63


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