Re: Europe and the Americas

thomas w kavanagh (tkavanag@INDIANA.EDU)
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 21:29:11 -0500

As long as we're on Binford, I'm sure there were also sociotechnic and
idiotechnic uses as well. :-)

Someone else posted privately that "nightsoil" was taken out to the

I suppose still a question might be: in a city such as Tenochtitlan: Did
every family have a chinampa? Was every family a producer? That is, can
we transform the normative into a statistic?

[At Hopi, each family has an outhouse, perched on the edge of the mesa;
(as analyzed for me, "That's how you can tell who is sick: Percy just
made his third trip this morning...) But except for dog feces, used as a
bug repellant for the corn, I've never heard of any one "harvesting" the
night soil for fertilizer, not even as a mordant for dyeing. Corrections?]

!Ethnohistorians, Arise, Your Course is Clear: To the Stacks!


On Wed, 21 Feb 1996, Matthew Hill wrote:

<snip, my note>

> >
> Not completely true. Without checking my sources, other than the
> soggy wired data bank behind my forehead, I am quite sure there are
> conquistador references to collection of urine for technomic (Binford)
> use. There is some circumstantial evidence for collection of feces
> for use as manure (Armillas, personal communication).
> Matthew Hill (
> Close Gates! Defenestrate!