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Indiana State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Angel Mounds State Historic Site
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8215 Pollack Ave
Evansville, Indiana   47715
(lat:37.9452 lon:-87.452) map location

Phone: (812) 853-3956
The 600+ acres that comprise Angel Mounds State Historic Site were purchased in 1938 by the Indiana Historical Society with financial assistance from Eli Lilly. In 1947, the Indiana Historical Society transferred ownership to the State of Indiana. It is now managed and interpreted by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. Indiana University is responsible for excavations and research on the site.
History of the Area
Five to seven hundred years ago, the area we now call Angel Mounds State Historic Site was a thriving Mississippian Indian town. Built between A.D. 1100 and 1300, the town was occupied by one thousand to three thousand inhabitants until its abandonment around 1450. Throughout that time, it was the largest settlement in Indiana. It served as the center of trade, government and religion for smaller satellite communities within a 70-mile radius.

Mississippian culture originated in the southeastern United States between A.D. 700 and 800, and in some places survived as late as 1700. The culture was very innovative. It was the first to extensively exploit agriculture and build permanent communities with thousands of residents. This economic and social system was made possible by the widespread cultivation of corn, a crop nutritious enough to be a dietary staple and capable of being harvested and stored in large quantities. The large and important town at Angel Mounds lends its name to the Angel phase, the period of Mississippian culture found near the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers from the late 11th through the early 15th century.

After more than 200 years of constant occupation, the town at Angel Mounds was abandoned, and by 1450, the site was empty. There is no evidence to show why the inhabitants left. Over a long period of occupation, the local supply of wood for building and fire would have been severely depleted. Intense agriculture may have overworked the soil. Game may have been scarce from over hunting. Although there is no indication of attack from outside, there may have been political upheavals from within. Some combination of these factors, or perhaps all, may have played a role in the town?s desertion.

The Mississippian people did not disappear entirely from Indiana; however, their lifestyle changed. The center of population also shifted 30 miles to the west of Angel Mounds where dispersed farmsteads and villages continued to exist along the Ohio River through the early 1600s. These later Mississippians were also gone before the arrival of Europeans in Indiana.
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Angel Mounds State Historic Site is located near Boonville, Evansville and Henderson

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 11 A first time visitor... by A Hoosier Citizen
park review stars; one to five The information was very interesting and the decor and exhibits in the visitor center were well planned. The park overall is sadly in need of a do-over. Outdoor signage is faded and difficult to read. Paths are not easy to figure out. Indoor exhibits of artifacts need to be cleaned, fallen items replaced, and new acrylic covers purchased for those that are missing. The lighting in part of the exhibit fades in and out making it difficult to read. I was sad that Indiana allows these conditions to represent our state.
May 13 COOL!
park review stars; one to five The park was awesome. We loved the mounds. It was a pretty sight.
June 28 Life-size models & ancient artifacts by nancy
park review stars; one to five In the museum, the life-size people, houses, and fields are impressive and informative. Many important artifacts include chunkey stones and large reverse-decorated pottery. Several mounds are in view after a short walk. Hikers will find more to experience.
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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Cottages and Cabins
Enjoy a getaway to nearby Southern Illinois with Shawnee National Forest Cabins. Rustic log cabin rentals with modern comforts such as hot tubs, Wifi and satellite TV located near Garden of the God in the Shawnee National Forest.
55.6 miles from park*
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Indiana State Parks