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Angel Mounds - National Science Foundation Undergraduate Experieces for Undergraduates

Location: Evansville, Indiana, United States

May 28, 2013 to July 26, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Anthropology, Indiana University

Project Director:

Jeremy Wilson, PhD, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Project Description

The Department of Anthropology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University-Bloomington are pleased to offer a new National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program entitled “Angel Mounds REU Site: Multidisciplinary Training for Students in Environmental and Social Sciences through Archaeological Research” (NSF Award No. 1262530). The eight-week program will include five weeks of fieldwork at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site in southwestern Indiana, a late Pre-Columbian town and National Historic Landmark site occupied during the Mississippian cultural period (A.D. 1050 to 1450) and highlighted by 11 earthen mounds and a series of palisades. This will be followed by three weeks of laboratory training at IUPUI and IU-Bloomington, analyzing materials and data from the fieldwork.  College credit is available through IUPUI for both the field (6 credit) and lab (3 credit) experience, but is not required to participate in this NSF-REU program.  The application deadline is April 1, 20013 and can be completed online through the following link:  REU application.

The goal of this project is to foster a new generation of scholars that can work across disciplinary boundaries to craft cogent, meaningful and empirically sound interpretations. Nationally recruited undergraduates from the environmental and social sciences and humanities, as well as other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines will be provided with field and laboratory training in archaeology, geophysics, geoarchaeology and geochemistry. Over the program’s three years, REU participants will conduct original research on the Native peoples that inhabited Angel Mounds through investigation of earthwork construction (Year 1), reconstruction of the paleoenvironment (Year 2), and exploration of the timing and relationship between fortification construction, settlement development and subsequent site abandonment (Year 3).

The educational programming of the Angel Mounds REU will promote undergraduate professionalization and enhance their skills by providing training in multidisciplinary field methods and hands-on use of sophisticated instruments. In the laboratory settings, students will learn to process, analyze and curate the artifacts, ecofacts and data collected. Analytical techniques taught in the laboratory will include basic identification and quantification of artifacts and other field data, as well as advanced methods of geochemical detection and estimation. The training provided to analyze geophysical data, sedimentology, pedology, and archaeological results, including GIS development and database management, will enhance many important 21st century skills such as digital literacy, database implementation and management, inventive thinking, and the understanding of complex interrelationships. Through this diverse and multidisciplinary training, students will gain a solid foundation in field and laboratory research and begin to form peer and professional relationships that will serve them for the rest of their careers.

Period(s) of Occupation: Mississippian period (AD 1050 - 1450)

Angel Mounds State Historic Site

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 8 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants in the Angel Mounds REU will receive a $500/week stipend ($4,000 for eight weeks). The program will also cover all housing and the requisite field and laboratory equipment in Evansville, Bloomington, and Indianapolis. In addition, a $300 allowance will be provided to participants for travel to the REU site from their institution or home. A $500 allowance has also been budgeted for student presentations of research findings at a regional archaeological conference in the fall subsequent to project participation.


Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Number of credits offered 3, 6, or 9
Field Class: $1,311.03 (IN resident); $5,402.43 (non-resident); Lab Class: $710 (IN resident); $2,755 (non-resident)


Contact Information
Jeremy Wilson
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis