GBL Collections Descriptions

GBL Collections Descriptions

The following descriptions represent just a few of the GBL's most significant collections. Explore the history of Indiana through the names of people and places that shaped the archaeological record into what it is today.

Angel Mounds: The Glenn Black Lab’s extensive involvement with the Angel Mounds site has resulted in a rich collection of artifacts and associated records that have long guided archaeological research on Mississippian culture. Excavations at Angel Mounds began in 1939 with Glenn Black supervising WPA works at the site. The excavation tradition continued from the 1940s to the present with Indiana University field schools. This legacy has resulted in a massive collection of over 2.5 million objects that has become the highlight of the Glenn Black Lab.

Heaton Farm: The unearthed remains of Heaton Farm have shared Greene County’s pre-Columbian past with its modern observers since archaeological research began in 1996. This late pre-Columbian village is believed to have been a point of intersection for several distinct cultures, particularly the early Vincennes and the Oliver peoples although the exact nature of this relationship and their respective relations to the site are still uncertain. Through clues such as ceramics, residential structures, and 18th century historic sources, researchers continue to explore the history of Heaton Farm and the people of various cultures that might have inhabited it over 500 years ago. The GBL contributes to this research through its collection of over 8,800 catalogue numbers collected primarily through IU field school projects.

The Mann Site: Indiana Posey County’s Mann Site belongs primarily to the Middle Woodland period with evidence of further occupation spanning from the Archaic to Historic periods. The Mann Site has long eluded the grasp of archaeologists through its sheer size and peculiar array of artifacts. Thanks to an interest developed by Glenn Black in the 1930s, various phases of investigation have located the remains of over 16 earthworks and incredible artifacts ranging from anthropomorphic figurines to charred squash remains, reflecting the diverse natures of the communities that would have interacted there over 1,000 years ago. This diversity remains the Mann Site’s defining feature and has intrigued researchers since the initial field survey in 1946. The site is now represented at the GBL through over 13,900 artifacts obtained primarily through IU field-school research.

The Lilly Collection: The name “Eli Lilly” is significant not only to the history of Indiana, but to the history of the Glenn Black Lab. Thanks to Lilly, generations of students and scholars in Indiana have been provided with new opportunities and resources that continue to define 20th century archaeological achievements. Through his writing, research and support, Eli Lilly remains one of the primary archaeological figureheads of Indiana and an invaluable part of the Glenn Black Lab’s history. His work is now commemorated at the GBL in the form of the Eli Lilly Collection, which consists of nearly 7,500 incredible artifacts, ranging in nature from stone tools to gorgets to whole pottery vessels, as well as hundreds of books housed in the James Kellar Library on Native American history and archaeology.

Fort Ouiatenon: The Fort Ouiatenon collection highlights the significance of this historical site through remains as diverse as the people who once created and consumed them. Through the material remains left behind, archaeologists can tell the story of Indiana’s French settlers, their interactions with local Native American populations, and the ultimate collapse of the fort after years of opposition against the British. The current collection consists of pottery, bone tools, and iron weaponry among other materials that amount to over 9900 catalogue numbers.

The GBL Type Collection: The GBL Type Collections provide representative samples of specific times, places, and artifact types that function as accessible snapshots of a given collection. From Paleoindian projectile points to gun parts of the Historic period, these Collections cover a wide span of both time and place across America.