Archaeological Collections

Archaeological Collections

The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has over 12,000 accessions of archaeological collections, totaling millions of individual items. These are made up of both excavated and donated collections, and represent the material heritage of cultures from the earliest occupations of North America through to modern times.

Most of the collections derive from sites in Indiana and the greater midwest region, and many have been significant in shaping the archaeological record. These include:

  • Angel Mounds collections - artifacts and associated records that have long guided archaeological research on Mississippian culture
  • Fort Ouiatenon collections - material remains from the 18th century French trading post and later British fort. The name Ouiatenon is a French rendering of the name waayaahtanonki, the native Wea people's word for "place of the whirlpool'. 
  • Mann Site collections - diverse materials primarily belonging to the Middle woodland period with evidence of further occupation spanning from the Archaic to Historic periods
  • Lilly collection - donated by Eli Lilly, an archaeological figurehead of Indiana, consists of nearly 7,500 incredible artifacts ranging in nature from stone tools to gorgets to whole pottery vessels
  • Black collection - personal collections of Glenn A. Black, first professional archaeologist of Indiana; consists of over 2,000 objects and many linear feet of documentation.

We maintain an extensive teaching collection and several type collections for use by researchers.

Replica headdress (1448.1064.2)
Birdstone (13.140.0)
Owl effigy bottle (18.170.0)

Image Collections

The Archaeological Historic Image Collection is comprised of over 12,000 photographic prints, 9,000 negatives, 8,200 slides, 50 glass plate images, and 100 16mm film reels. The collection documents the history of archaeological work in Indiana and the Midwest since at least the 1920s.