Past Events

Stories from IU Special Collections: "Searching for Buried Gardens: Campus Archaeology at Wylie House Museum"

Thursday, February 21, 2019, Wells Library

The GBL's Elizabeth Watts Malouchos and Wylie House Museum's Carey Beam shared how IU field school students paired the museum's archival collection with modern technology in their search for subterranean garden features referenced in Wylie family papers. The project promoted heritage archaeology and built upon students' research and archaeological skills.

IPAS: Indiana Public Archaeology Symposium

Saturday, August 25, 2018, 9am-5pm, Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology

We hope you will join us at this year’s Indiana Public Archaeology Symposium hosted at our facility on IU's Bloomington Campus. This event will be held in conjunction with the Indiana Archaeology Council’s annual workshop.

Presentation topics will include using social media to teach about archaeology, recent investigations at the Wylie House Museum, and updates on current research projects in Indiana.

Drums Along the Scioto: Losing our marbles but gaining new insights on Hopewell material culture based on contemporary Shawnee ceremonial practices

April 11th, 2017, 12 p.m. in the Mathers Museum of World Cultures Classroom

Speakers: Brad Lepper, Senior Curator of Archaeology for the Ohio History Connection and Ben Barnes, 2ndChief of the Shawnee Tribe

Seip Mound, the third largest mound in the Hopewell world, was excavated in the 1920s. Among the iconic artifacts recovered from these excavations were five, small, spherical stones made from steatite. The excavators originally identified these objects as marbles, based on no evidence other than their own cultural preconceptions. During recent consultations with the three Shawnee tribes, we began a conversation about the Shawnee water drum, which suggested an alternative interpretation of these “marbles” based on the material culture and ceremonial traditions of a contemporary tribe who undoubtedly participated to some extent in the Hopewellian ceremonial interaction sphere. We continued this dialogue and now argue that these stone spheres likely are components of a Hopewell water drum. If we’re right, it would be the oldest evidence for a drum in eastern North America.

The Beauty of Shawnee Pottery: A Talk by Benjamin Barnes

September 23, 2016 at 4:30pm in the Mather's Museum classroom

The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology is excited to host Benjamin Barnes, who will discuss recent collaboration between the Shawnee and archaeologists, historians, and other scholars from several universities as they work to reconstruct and reclaim the beauty of ancestral Shawnee pottery.

Benjamin Barnes is the Second Chief of the Shawnee Tribe, one of the three federally recognized tribes of Shawnee. He has collaborated with historians, archaeologists, and universities to create networks of collaboration so that Shawnee citizen-scholars are afforded future opportunities to re-contextualize the historical record and tell their own stories. He was the first recipient of Indiana University’s “Institute for Advanced Study Summer Research Fellowship” as well as co-director of the Shawnee Tribe’s “Language Revitalization Program.”

The event will take place in the Mathers Museum classroom, and is part of IU Themester 2016.

September 18, 2015, 5pm--Exhibit Opening and Reception

Come enjoy light refreshments, time with Dr. Means, and our new exhibit Archaeologists @Work. This exhibit is funded by Themester 2015.

Summer 2015 event

An image of Ben J. Barnes in front of a collection of files.

August 5, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

Ben J. Barnes (Shawnee Tribe, Second Chief)

"kewakotam'ka'fope": Together we find treasures in archival sources of knowledge

Ben J. Barnes is the 2015 Summer Repository Research Fellow. The Summer Repository Research Fellowship is funded through the Institute for Advanced Study.

Conserving and sharing information trapped within the documents of the “Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Ethnohistory Collection” (GLOVEC) by creating a digital platform of sharing between the Shawnee Tribe, Indiana University researchers, and academics elsewhere is part of a long term endeavor of Shawnee tribal citizens. For the better part of the past decade, the Shawnee people are creating relationships with universities, archives, historic sites, and numerous state agencies. NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) and the Historic Preservation Act drove these interactions in the past, but these relationships have evolved into collaborative and supportive relationships. Continued conversations between engaged, professional scholars and the Shawnee Tribe, one of the 567 federally recognized Native Nations, has created unique opportunities to contextualize history and research projects for both academia and citizens of the Shawnee Tribe. Re-contextualization of knowledge requires Shawnee scholars to become active participants with institutions, such as the Glenn Black Laboratory (GBL) and the Archive of Traditional Music (ATM).

This talk will be held in the classroom at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The MMWC is immediately next door to the GBL.

Discovering Archaeology-- September 27, 2014--1pm-4pm

Join us as campus and community archaeologists share their knowledge and passion with visitors. Hands-on activities as well as demonstrations will allow you to learn more about the field of archaeology, the work of the Glenn Black Laboratory, and the research being conducted by faculty and students at IU.

Brownie Science Day-- May 3, 2014--1pm-4pm

Archaeologists from the Anthropology Department and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory at Indiana University have organized a chance for Scouts to learn what it is like to be a trained, professional archaeologist.

While at the Glenn Black Lab, the girls will:

  • have hands-on instruction in laying out and preparing archaeological field maps
  • discover how science and math can help us learn about the past
  • handle artifacts from the GBL’s education collection and learn how to investigate them
  • interact with trained archaeologists in a fun, friendly manner
  • help provide feedback that will guide new exhibits at GBL

2014 Research at the Glenn Black Laboratory Lecture Series

February 28, 2014--Erica Ausel-- Death, Disease, and Violence at the Prehistoric site of Angel Mounds

  • The Mississippian period (AD 1000-1500) is known as a tumultuous era when wide-sweeping changes occurred across North America’s Midwest and Southeast. Archaeological research has shown abrupt modifications in religion, cultural practices, material culture, and ways-of-life. Collaboration between physical anthropologists and archaeologists have shed additional light on how the Mississippian period effected the every-day-lives of Mississippian people. At the Angel site, new chronological models have suggested a pulse of intense Mississippianization began circa AD 1050, but peaked between AD 1300 and 1450. This presentation, based on Ausel's doctoral research, will discuss traumatic events and biological health stressors which affected the people of Angel during this later period, as well as the results of recent collaborative biological research.

March 7, 2014--Katie Zejdlik--Biological Relatedness and Cultural Transition in the Midwest circa A.D. 1050

  • The Mississippian period is exceptional for the fast and wide ranging influence it had on the mid-continent. The processes behind the Mississippianization of the Midwest are unknown and often thought to be the result of interaction with individuals from the Mississippian center, Cahokia. These assumptions are based on material culture and site organization but it is unknown to what level direct contact occured. Biological distance methods are useful for examining the differences within and between sites by using genetic indicators of relatedness observed on human skeletal remain. For this project, dental measurements and observations were taken on individuals from the Late Woodland and Mississippian periods at sites in geographical proximity to each other. Differences in dental dimension and shape indicate biological differences in populations through time. This paper discusses current assumptions about the Mississippianization of the northern hinterlands and how well these assumptions are supported by dental indicators of biological relatedness

March 14, 2014--Dr. Christina Snyder--Bridging the Divide: Archaeology, History, and America's Ancient Past

  • Snyder's current research project, Ancient America, argues for the dissolution of the divide between prehistory and history in favor of a transdisciplinary approach that combines archaeology, history, and oral tradition to tell a sweeping, Native-centered history of North America from ancient times through the early colonial era. Rather than a linear history that tells of a progression from hunter-gather societies to chiefdoms, the resulting book, Ancient America, will stress the divergent paths and dynamic responses of Native peoples to climatic shifts, environmental stress, population increase, social upheaval, and cultural change. This talk focuses on methodology, periodization, and terminology, considering how archaeologists and historians can bridge the disciplinary gap and work in more collaborative ways.