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Indiana’s Archaeology Month highlights unique, ancient civilizations

By Tim Jagielo, IPB News | Published on in Arts and Culture, Education, Statewide News
The Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Indiana is the location of a pre-European contact native community home to hundreds of people around AD 1000 and 1400. (Provided by Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites)

(Provided by Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

Archaeology is the study of ancient humans through their artifacts.

Indiana Archeology Month will provide activities designed to connect Hoosiers to ancient human life that thrived nearby.

According to State Archaeologist Amy Johnson, there are more than 75,000 recorded archaeological sites in Indiana, ranging from just an arrowhead to large complex build mound and earthwork sites.

“One of those is located right in Evansville that the public can visit, which is Angel Mounds State Historic Site,” Johnson said. “That site is so important. It’s a National Historic Landmark. And so we want people to understand that there are very complex archaeological sites in Indiana.”

Johnson says this month, the public can learn about archaeology through visiting sites like the Angel Mounds, attending lectures and even visiting active excavations.

She says there are archaeological sites in Indiana that are unique to the rest of the country, such as ones from the “Oliver Phase” culture.

“We have some really unique pre-contact cultures in Indiana, that really aren’t found in any other portions of the Midwest or the United States,” Johnson said.

“That’s really important for folks to understand that Indiana is unique today for many, many reasons. But it was also unique in terms of past cultures that have lived and made this area, their home.”

These late woodland native indigenous people were concentrated in what would become central and southern Indiana. This is one reason the state of Indiana has celebrated Indiana Archeology Month for 27 years.

“What we’ve tried to stress through the years is how diverse archaeological archaeological sites in Indiana are, and how the public can become involved in archaeology,” she said.

To get involved in archeological activities, go to the Indiana DNR website.