What is Angel Mounds?
The Angel Mounds site (12Vg0001) was once the residence of a Mississippian community, occupied between A.D. 1050 and 1450 (McGill 2013). Located near the Ohio River in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, Angel Mounds was a well-populated center of a pre-Columbian network of communities stretching along a segment about 120-river-miles long. The primary Mississippian occupation of this region is referred to as the "Angel Phase" (Hilgeman 2000). This center included numerous mounds, palisades that surrounded portions of the site, and hundreds of individual structures. The site was eventually abandoned by most of its population after about 300 years of occupation for reasons that are not necessarily understood although it is commonly believed to be due to exhaustion of local resources, climate change, and/or internal social stress. Today, the Angel Mounds State Historic Site still occupies an impressive 600 acres that includes reconstructed buildings and features, a laboratory, and an interpretive center (“Ancient Indiana Metropolis”).
Angel Mounds at the GBL
The Angel Mounds site represents the GBL’s largest collection, amounting to over 2.5 million artifacts. Research at the site and with the Angel collections is ongoing and the significance of the Angel Mounds site continues to be defined as more analyses are conducted.
For more information on Angel Mounds, see About Angel Mounds