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Indiana Historical Society Showcases Angel Mounds Recreation

Still of Angel Mounds enactors

Inside this room at the Indiana Historical Society, it's September 25, 1939. (Zach Herndon, WFIU/WTIU News)

The Indiana Historical Society is offering visitors a chance to travel back to an archaeological excavation in 1939.

The Angel Mounds exhibit showcases artifacts collected from the state historic site in Evansville, which is one of the most well-preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the country.

The items are on loan from Indiana University’s Glenn Black Laboratory of Archeology. The exhibit also includes a room where actors recreate the excavation of the site.

Exhibits researcher Danny Gonzales says that makes the experience different for every visitor.  

“Our actor interpreters, they can accommodate their interpretation based on the questions that you ask as a visitor, based on the interest that you express as a visitor," Gonzales says. "They can give every person who comes in here a very unique experience.”

Dan Shockley trained the actors. He says the exhibit can help visitors understand not just Hoosier history, but each other.  

“The Native Americans who lived on this land hundreds, thousands of years ago, they’re not here; but their ancestors, their descendants still are. There are Native Americans in Indiana now," Shockley says. "This isn’t just a story of the past, it’s a story of the present too.”

Gonzales says that this exhibit was fun to work on for the staff since the IHS also shares a piece of Angel Mounds history. The land was purchased by the IHS in an effort to start excavation. 

The exhibit will be on display through August 9.

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