Explore an ancient Indiana metropolis at Angel Mounds State Historic Site. A thousand years ago, southwest Indiana was home to a thriving community of Native Americans known as the Mississippians on the banks of the Ohio River. Archaeologists are uncovering the mysteries of these past inhabitants by combing over artifacts they left behind.
New experience now open
A new exhibit will guide visitors through the life of noted Indiana archaeologist Glenn A. Black, who conducted fieldwork for many years at Angel Mounds State Historic Site. Visitors can see Black’s real desk, tools he used in the field, and rare and never-before-seen artifacts discovered at the site. An interactive area will also allow visitors to reconstruct a broken clay pot like an archaeologist would; explore a recreation of Black’s desk; experiment with a simulated, tabletop magnetometer (an instrument used for measuring magnetic forces) to uncover hidden objects in the ground; and more.
8215 Pollack Ave.
Evansville, IN 47715
Parking is available at the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center
Tuesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Angel Mounds is closed Mondays, with the exception of Monday holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day. Additionally, it will remain open on Mondays during fall break, spring break and the month of December. It is open Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day, but closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites members receive FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop.
Purchase admission tickets in the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center.
For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $6, and youth tickets are $3.
Field trip admission is free for pre-scheduled, accredited schools and homeschool groups of 10 or more K-12 students. Call 812.853.3956 to schedule your visit.
Academic topics covered include Prehistoric Native American culture (Mississippian ca. 1000-1400 A.D.), archaeology, nature and star lore.
Learn more about field trip and school program offerings in the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites PreK-12 Education Program Guide. View guide >>
We hope to see you at our upcoming events. Visit our calendar for a list of events happening at all 12 Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites locations.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Visitors are invited to evenings of spooky fun at...
Consider hosting your special event at Angel Mounds State Historic Site. Please fill out our inquiry form to receive information.
Located on the banks of the Ohio River in southwest Indiana, Angel Mounds State Historic Site is one of the best-preserved, pre-contact Native American sites in North America. Built between A.D. 1000 and 1450, the town was occupied by more than 1,000 people part of the Mississippian culture. The society built 11 earthen mounds as platforms to elevate important buildings. The original town covered an area of 103 acres and served as an important religious, political and trade center for people living within a 75-mile radius.
The site was abandoned before European explorers came to North America. Possible explanations for abandonment are depletion of natural resources, climatic changes or the collapse of chiefdom.
More than 600 acres comprise Angel Mounds State Historic Site, which includes an interpretive center, recreations of Mississippian buildings and a working reconstruction of the 1939 WPA archaeology laboratory. The 500-acre non-archaeological portion of the site contains a nature preserve with hiking and biking trails.
Mississippian culture was innovative and the first to extensively exploit agriculture and build permanent communities with thousands of residents. This economic and social system was made possible by the widespread cultivation of corn, which was nutritious and could be stored in large quantities. The town here lends its name to the Angel phase of Mississippian culture, found near the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers from the late 11th through the 15th centuries.
After more than 300 years of constant occupation, the town was abandoned. By 1450, the site was empty and no one knows for sure why the inhabitants left. The local supply of wood and game would have been depleted. Intense agriculture might have overworked the soil. There is no indication of attack from outside, but there may have been internal political upheavals. The reasons they left are questions archaeologists continue to research. The Mississippians dispersed but continued in the Ohio River valley through the early 1600’s. These later Mississippians were also gone before the arrival of Europeans in Indiana.
ARCHAEOLOGY AT ANGEL MOUNDS
In historic times, the site was a working farm of the Angel family. In 1938, with a donation from Eli Lilly, the Indiana Historical Society purchased the land to protect it from development. Starting in 1939, under the direction of Glenn A. Black, a crew of 277 Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers began excavating the site, recovering over 2.5 million artifacts.
The site was transferred to the State of Indiana in 1946, with Indiana University continuing the archaeological work. A replica of the original WPA building was built in 2013. The building contains exhibits on the WPA and its contribution to the site’s research. The new lab facility is open during all site excavations and during special events.
Indiana University/Glenn A. Black Labratory of Archaeology is responsible for excavations and research on the site.
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