Angel Mounds

Address Restricted, Evansville, Indiana. County/parish: Vanderburgh.

NRIS 66000124

1 contributing site.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.

Also known as:

  • Angel Mounds State Memorial

From Wikipedia:

Angel Mounds

Angel Mounds State Historic Site (12 VG 1), 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 (240 hectares) of land about 8 miles (13 km) southeast of present-day Evansville, in Vanderburgh and Warrick County, Indiana. The large residential and agricultural community was constructed and inhabited from AD 1100 to AD 1450 and served as the political, cultural, and economic center of the Angel chiefdom. It extended within 120 miles (190 km) of the Ohio River valley to the Green River in present-day Kentucky. The town had as many as 1,000 inhabitants at its peak and included a complex of thirteen earthen mounds, hundreds of home sites, a palisade (stockade), and other structures. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, the property also includes an interpretive center, recreations of Mississippian structures, a replica of a 1939 Works Projects Administration archaeology laboratory, and a 500-acre (200-hectare) area away from the archaeological site that is a nature preserve. The historic site continues to preserve and relate the story of pre-contact Middle Mississippian culture on the Ohio River.

The site is named after the Angel family who in 1852 began purchasing farmland on which the archaeological site is located. In 1938, the Indiana Historical Society, with funding from Eli Lilly, purchased 480 acres (190 hectares) of property to preserve it and to use it for long-term archaeological excavation. From 1939 to 1942, the Works Progress Administration employed more than 250 workers to excavate 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of the site, which resulted in the recording and processing of 2.3 million archaeological items. After excavation was temporarily halted during World War II, work resumed in 1945 as part of the Indiana University Archaeology Field School during the summer months. In 1946, the Indiana Historical Society transferred ownership of the site to the State of Indiana, which manages the site through the Indiana State Museum. Archaeological research on Angel Mounds continues to be conducted through the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, established in 1965 at Indiana University Bloomington.

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National Park Service documentation: