A decade of Celebration ~ Centuries of Discovery


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A Decade of Celebration ~ Centuries of Discovery


  • Indiana has a rich and varied archaeological history, as well as a great history of archaeological investi-gations. The individuals who have conducted archaeological research, excavations and more have included a wide range of individuals. Professional archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, students, geologists, and many others have helped contribute to our knowledge about the past.

  • Join us as we examine some of the early discoveries of archaeology, and those who made them, in the Hoosier state!





Early publications sometimes included discussions about archaeological sites and features. These descriptions and information are still important today. The images below are from the 1870s.







Early archaeological studies provided us with much information. Often included was information regarding collections of artifacts which private individuals had from the relevant county.



In the early twentieth century, archaeological investigations were being conducted at various locations around the state. This image shows Harry M. Stoops examining a mound site in 1928.





  • Two of the early pioneers of archaeology in Indiana were Warren K. Moorehead (left) and E.Y. Guernsey.

  • They are shown in 1931 in southern Indiana looking for archaeological sites to be investigated.



Eli Lilly, famous founder of the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company, is shown taking a soil sample at the Angel Mounds site (left), and looking over a site in 1936. Mr. Lilly was instrumental in saving Angel Mounds (now a State Historic Site and currently Indiana’s only archaeological National Historic Landmark).



Dr. James H. Kellar at an archaeological investigation in the late 1940s. Dr. Kellar, later the first Director of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University, was involved in many important archaeological projects.





Women were involved in many of the early archaeological investigations in our state. Frances Martin is shown investigating a basin-shaped firepit feature (1950) and working in a rock shelter in the late 1950s with James Kellar.



Laboratory work and all of the many types of analyses which must be conducted are critical parts of the archaeological process. Emily Blasingham is shown in her office, ca. 1966, working on Yankeetown prehistoric ceramic materials which were recovered from Indiana.





The important archaeological work goes on today. However, the science would not be what it is now in our state were it not for the earlier work of so many others, obviously more than can be included in this brief presentation. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude! To find out more about the early years of archaeology in Indiana, go to the following locations, and others: http://www.indiana.edu/%7Earchaeo/bone_bank/first.htm http://www.gbl.indiana.edu/figures/lilly/lilly2.html http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/ihb/publications/archaeoearly.pdf



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