13 Facts About Angel Mounds


Angel Mounds State Historic Site, an expression of the Mississippian culture, is an archaeological site managed by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites that includes more than 600 acres of land about 8 miles southeast of present-day Evansville, in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in Indiana.

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Archaeological research on Angel Mounds, once conducted through the Glenn A Black Laboratory of Archaeology, is overseen by the IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington.

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Archeologist Sherri Hilgeman and others have used the distinctive pottery produced at the Angel Mounds site and in other satellite communities in this section of the Ohio River valley to define the Angel Mounds phase as the middle period between the Emergent Mississippian Yankeetown phase and the Terminal Mississippian Caborn-Wellborn phase.

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Angel Mounds chiefdom was the regional trading center in a group of communities within 12 miles of the Ohio River valley; it extended as far as the Green River in present-day Kentucky.

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Archaeologists believe that the Angel Mounds community existed from around AD 1100 to around AD 1450, although estimates for the site vary from AD 1000 to AD 1600.

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Angel Mounds scholars believe that the Mississippians abandoned the site by AD 1400, and the Ohio River valley by AD 1650.

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Black, who served as the Society's director of archaeology and from 1939 to 1964 supervised excavation and field schools at the Angel site, thought that the mounds would provide an opportunity to conduct a long-term study of a single archaeological site.

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Angel Mounds was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964, the same year that the Indiana Historical Society transferred its archeological excavation rights to Indiana University.

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Research on Angel Mounds is conducted through the Glenn A Black Laboratory of Archaeology, founded in 1965 at Indiana University Bloomington and named in honor of Glenn Albert Black, the archaeologist who conducted excavations at Angel Mounds from 1939 to 1964, and brought the site to national attention.

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Angel Mounds site was the regional trading center in a group of associated settlements and hamlets within a 70-mile radius.

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One of the most significant artifacts uncovered at the Angel Mounds site was a carved Mississippian culture stone statue of a seated man, which was found at Mound F in November 1940.

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Archaeological objects and associated records from Angel Mounds are curated and cared for at the IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Some common pottery styles found in these sites include: Angel Mounds Negative Painted, Kincaid Negative Painted, and Matthews Incised.

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