A history of the development of Indiana archaeology

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Authors
Michael, Ronald L. (Ronald Lee), 1941-
Advisor
White, Ray (Raymond E.)
Issue Date
1969
Keyword
Degree
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department
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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to study the development of professional archaeology in Indiana. To begin, an attempt has been made to place Indiana archaeology in the framework of national archaeology. Hopefully this will provide a needed prospectus in understanding the significance of the pattern of development in Indiana. The actual study of Indiana development begins in 1816 with the earliest known performance of archaeology within the state and the reasons why it was undertaken. Following that the development is traced through the 1800's and explanations are offered as to why archaeological interest matured so slowly during the period. In the early twentieth century when the archaeologically related activities transpired more rapidly, the important developmental trends are elaborated and the individuals instrumental in their maturation are brought into focus. The period from 1938-60 is then devoted almost entirely to the activities of Glenn A. Black, the "grand old man" of Indiana archaeology, which included excavation at Angel Mounds and the establishment of a field school and archaeology program at Indiana University. The 1960's are covered by a discussion of the diversifications of Indiana archaeology through the appointment of James H. Kellar to succeed Black at Indiana University, the engagement of B. K. Swartz, Jr., by the Social Science Department at Ball State Teachers College to establish an archaeology program at the school, and the hiring of Robert E. Pace by the Social Science Department at Indiana State Teachers College.The development of archaeological programs in two additional institutions possibly kindled a rebirth of Indiana archaeology. The state still remains outside the mainstream of United States archaeology, but Indiana is probably more typical than atypical in this regard. Since archaeological intellectual theory is developed largely on an individual basis and reflects the individuals involved instead of statewide programs, many states, even those where considerable excavation is ongoing within their boundaries, lag in making current theory operational. All that is really needed in Indiana is a dynamic archaeologist who is willing to express and test fresh ideas and place' the results in print. If this were accomplished, the provincial quality of Indiana archaeology would be lost.Ultimately, though, archaeology within the state must undergo some basic changes if a total view of Indiana prehistory is to be seen. The archaeology program at each of the universities must become dynamic and support a variety of research studies. Temporal-spatial studies need to be made in all sections of the state with all classes of artifacts, and documented cultural sequences must be established as soon as possible so that it will be possible to reconstruct the way people lived in Indiana during prehistoric times. Once this is accomplished, inter-area comparative studies of cultures, trade patterns, and migration routes will begin unveiling the true Indiana prehistory.If archaeologists interested in Indiana archaeology begin doing more extensive research and keeping their colleagues current on their activities through professional meetings, university-supported research reports, and national archaeology journals, there is no reason why Indiana cannot be on the frontiers of United States archaeology. There will be a long path to follow, but the nucleus of interest, financial support, students, and professional leadership is already available. All that is needed is the development of available resources.