Barefooted and drunken hippies

This morning I excavated more on the Northern most end of the trash pit with Dianne and Farah. We found a lot of stuff, and were so focused on digging that we didn’t notice how many artifacts had been exhumed until we had to carry them back to the buffalo in three trips! They filled up one real trash can here, and then there was even more. Hopefully they don’t get mistaken for real trash now that they’re in a trash can…well, they are real trash I guess, real hippie/historical trash. That is one aspect of digging the trash pit that is so interesting to me. I think a lot of non-archaeologists, and even archaeologists too, would look at this unit in the trash pit and question the importance of such a dig. However, I’ve been learning the importance of this over the past few days, and even enjoying digging up 50 year old trash. I think partially these artifacts are important oral history prompts for people who lived through this time period, but they are also a record of unspoken happenings from the ’60s. For one thing, we’ve been finding a lot of brand name and packaged products, even though the stated goal of the New Buffalo hippies was to live off the land and in harmony with nature. secondly we have found a large concentration of interesting objects such as shoes and socks. Shoes can tell you much about their owners: the approximate age and size of the person, their occupatino and its hazards, their status etc etc. And these shoes are from a recent enough time period that we are able to know something about the types of footwear and what they connotate about the wearers. But the larger mystery is why so many shoes? In my estimatin shoes and socks have been the highest reccurance of artifact in the trash dump. But why? Were the hippies trying to live up to their “back to the land” goals by ditching their shoes and socks and running around barefoot? These are just a few of the thoughts that I keep having while excavating it the dump. Personally I found a small white leather shoe, probalby for a young girl, with the single strap in the Mary Jane style, and this shoe had a silver chain stuffed into it. That was pretty exciting for me.

At any rate after digging this morning I worked on my own project while Annie and Dianne cleaned artifacts. One of the artifacts was a Walter’s Bock Beer can, which Dianne had me look up online to see if it was still being made. It seems that this wonderful lable with the white goat on it is no longer manufactured, but has a large fan following online. The first hit was some Flickr photos of Bock beer cans, and then there was this website:

pretty interesting. Manufactured in Colorado I guess.

Maybe Kaet can make a beer can typology, since beer cans are the one artifact that has turned up in more quantities than shoes. Beer and shoes. I also see that people are selling empty Bock beer cans online for 4$. Maybe we have a collectable!


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