(March 16, 2020) At direction of the governor and following recommendations from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), all 12 locations of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites will be temporarily closed beginning March 17 in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution, to protect the safety and health of our staff, volunteers and visitors.
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.
Activities to enjoy:
8215 Pollack Ave.
Evansville, IN 47715
Angel Mounds has a distinctive Visitors Center that looks like the mounds, so you’ll be able to see it from the road once you reach Pollack Avenue. Parking is available at the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center.
Tuesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays* and April 12 (Easter)
Open Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day), *Jan. 20 - FREE (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), Feb. 17 - FREE (Presidents’ Day), March 23 & 30 (Spring Break)
Open with FREE admission April 4 for Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day with valid Museum Day ticket, available at Smithsonianmag.com/museumday.
Purchase admission tickets at the Angel Mounds Interpretive Center.
For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $6, and youth tickets are $3. Group tickets must be purchased in person.
Special discounts are available for educators and education groups, military, Access Pass holders and more. View all discounts >>
Become a member and receive free unlimited admission to Angel Mounds State Historic Site and all 12 statewide locations of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. Members also receive 10 percent discount in the gift shop and free admission to more than 300 museum and science centers worldwide. Learn more about membership options.
Field trip admission is free for pre-scheduled, accredited schools and homeschool groups of 10 or more Indiana 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 >>
Campers will discover puzzles, mazes, a 70-foot slip-and-slide, space travel, Ancient Egypt and more.
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.
Consider hosting your special event at Angel Mounds State Historic Site. Please fill out our inquiry form to receive information.
If you are a photographer looking to book a shoot at Angel Mounds State Historic Site, please review our commercial photography policy and application process. Learn more >>
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 Laboratory of Archaeology is responsible for excavations and research on the site.
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