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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

USI partners with other universities for Indiana Archaeology Month

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USI faculty and students will join Indiana University archaeologist Cheryl Ann Munson and her research team at the Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area archaeological site this month. September is Indiana Archaeology Month, and free public events will be held in conjunction with the excavation.

Leslie L. Bush, research fellow at IU’s Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, will present a public lecture, “The Amazing True Story of How Southern Indiana Became Farm Country,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, at Alexandrian Public Library in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Bush is an expert in archaeo-botany and has identified prehistoric plant remains from a number of sites in Indiana.

The Hovey Lake excavation site will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25. Each day will include interactive laboratory work and hands-on activities. Adults and children can appreciate early Native American village life by learning how to make tools and using ancient methods to prepare a crop and grind corn into meal. Visitors also will learn about the scientific methods archaeologists use in excavations and data analysis.

Robert Mann, assistant professor of anthropology, and USI students, will demonstrate the work of an archaeology field lab. Students from the University of Evansville and Indiana University-Bloomington also will participate.

Exhibits about archaeology are on display throughout the month at the Hovey Lake Visitor’s Center, the Alexandrian Public Library, and the Workingmen’s Institute in New Harmony, Indiana.

For further program details, as well as information about archaeological research in southwestern Indiana, go to Indiana University's Department of Anthropology Web pages.

The Indiana Archaeology Month program in southwestern Indiana is part of a state-wide celebration of the science of archaeology, and what it can teach us about Indiana’s heritage. See the Indiana Archaeology Month Web site for information on events and programs held at other locations around the state.

Munson has been conducting archaeological research in southwestern Indiana since 1975. Archaeological surveys and excavations have revealed that the Hovey Lake site is one of several large protohistoric Native American villages of the Mississippian Caborn-Welborn culture. Indiana University’s test excavations have shown that the Hovey Lake site developed about A.D. 1400, about the time that the Mississippian Indian chiefdom based at Angel Mounds State Historic Site fell into decline. Based on radiocarbon dates, archaeologists have determined that the Hovey Lake village site was occupied until at least A.D. 1650, before the villagers and related neighboring communities abandoned the region.

Indiana Archaeology Month activities are sponsored by Indiana University, USI, Historic New Harmony, Ohio River Scenic Route, Alexandrian Public Library, Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area, Posey County Historical Society, University of Evansville, and the Workingmen’s Institute.

Funding for research and education programs at the Hovey Lake site is provided by a four-year grant to Indiana University from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Enhancement Program, administered by INDOT, plus contributions from organizations and individuals.

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