Between 2010 and 2017, Cauli Le Chat, retired feline roving reporter for Mooresville Public Library (Mooresville, Indiana), reported all things interesting to cats (and humans) happening at the library. Related stories from across the state (and beyond) were also included.
Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Uncovering an Ancient Feline Civilization
Wild Thang, MPL Early Literacy Specialist, held an archaeology lab yesterday (June 29, 2011), and our preschool patrons had a wonderful time learning to dig for hidden artifacts from ancient civilizations. The dig was situated near my hangout, the MPL Kinder Garden. It seemed to be a well-defined, organized affair.
MPL Preschooler Archaeological Dig
(Note Sophisticated Tools of the Trade)
I was particularly excited when the archaeology team discovered this seemingly natural layer of sand, which, to the trained eye, was clearly a feline community litter box.
Sand Layer Excavated for Sifting
(Clearly a Feline Community Litter Box)
The question, of course, was whether this sand litter area was used by modern felines or by their ancient ancestors. This is why the sand must be sifted for further artifacts, such as petrified scat (left by prehistoric felines) or unusual items that may have been passed through relatively recent digestive tracts (e.g., bits of synthetic string, yarn, or cat toys). Nothing of the sort was located, however, so we were faced with only one option: dig deeper.
The general site includes my Library and Miller's Merry Manor Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center. A Google Maps 2011 aerial photo should provide basic orientation.
Aerial View of Mooresville Public Library & Miller's Merry Manor
(Courtesy of Google Maps, 2011)
(Click to Bigify)
An expert archaeologist knows just where to look and what s/he's looking for. After digging through purely contemporary soil layers, we reached the level known by local historians to have been used by a poultry-producing human civilization. There was sufficient evidence of chicken bones to verify this well-established historical fact.
Smitherman Hatcheries, 259 West Harrison Street, from an Advertisement in the 1968 Mooresville High School Yearbook,
Convinced that further depth was required to reach the ruins of ancient feline cultures, I ordered more excavation. I felt certain that a significant feline population would live near such a convenient and plentiful food source as had been previously worked on the site. My hunch paid off! We struck ruins of a sophisiticated, technologically developed feline society, which looked something like these photos I borrowed from Google.
That could be moi on those ruin walls, before my boxing injury. Use a little imagination, and, well, I am there. You, too.
Scowl-Face felt that the artifacts we uncovered were simply some old household or grocery items left on the grounds about 75 to 100 years ago, along with some locally manufactured brick that were used to construct an outbuilding when the site was used as the local interurban railway storage and repair hub. He may know Mooresville history, but what does he know about archaeology? Probably just the Indiana Jones movies. Hey, that's a convenient segue.
The Feline Indiana Jones
Cats were the first trained archaeologists. We've been digging in the dirt for thousands of years. (So have slobberdogs, but kitties know what we're looking for.)
You can see bottles and other peculiarities unearthed when the new addition was constructed at my Library in 2006. Visit the MPL Indiana Room display cabinets and look at the top row. You'll see the bottles and stuff, straight-away.
I'd Make a Good Feline Indiana Jones,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Archaeology News Beat
P.S. Although Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" from the album Us (1992) first came to mind as a musical closer, the themes are too adult-oriented for a family-friendly blog. The original music video, however, is pretty interesting. Look it up on YouTube if you want a look-see. For this posting, though, we like this collection of movie clips accompanying the song "Dig It" by the D-Tent Boys, from the Disney motion picture, Holes (2003).