Archaeology News from the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

HPF Grant Presentation – On May 2, DHPA Archaeologist Rachel Sharkey (and Dr. Henry) visited the Benton County Government Center to see Ball State University’s presentation on their two Historic Preservation Fund grants for archaeological survey in Benton and Newton counties. Christine Thompson and Amanda Balough gave a detailed presentation that not only succinctly covered the results of the surveys, but was informative to the public regarding the importance and goals of archaeology. Attendees also had hands-on exposure to artifacts found during the surveys. It was a great turn out, and a great way to engage the public regarding projects happening in their area! The HPF grants are administered by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

DHPA Work Day – Archaeologists Rachel Sharkey and Cathy Draeger-Williams, along with several other DHPA Staff, participated in the Annual DHPA Work day on May 8. This year, the work day took place at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site.  DHPA staff helped prepare the Resident Artist cabin for the summer by painting door and window frames, and switching out the storm windows for freshly painted screens. In addition to this task, staff helped prepare part of the property for a new historic marker, which was dedicated in a ceremony on May 20.

Archaeology Site of the Month – The Ellerbusch Archaeological Site (12W56), located in Warrick County, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March of 1991. Occupation of the site occurred during the Middle Woodland Period (200 B.C.-A.D. 300) and the Middle Mississippian Angel Phase (A.D. 1050-1450). Previous archaeological excavation work was completed by Indiana University’s Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology in 1957, 1987, and 1992. The Ellerbusch family completed early excavations of the site in the late 1950s, exposing a Mississippian house pattern. Later excavations uncovered three additional houses and pits containing stamped pottery. Archaeologists believe that no more than three of the homes were occupied at the same time, possibly serving as seasonal homes utilized by only one or two families. The site is partially contemporary with the Angel Mounds site in Evansville. The intact nature of the site suggests that it has the potential to yield a wealth of information on Middle Woodland and Angel Phase Middle Mississippian settlement and interactions in southwestern Indiana.

Smith, Edward E.
1983 National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Registration Form Ellerbusch Archaeological Site (12W56).

SHAARD Tip – Check here each month for a new tip on how to use and navigate SHAARD! This month’s tip: Have you ever noticed that all the IHSSI surveys start with three-digit odd numbers? For example, Adams County starts with 001 and Allen County starts with 003, not 002. With no even number counties*, we will be using the even numbers to deal with thematic surveys. We started with the round/polygonal barn survey (since that is the theme of the Preservation Month poster this year). So, if you go into SHAARD, and search 002-004-43003, you’ll find a beautiful round barn. And don’t be surprised if a barn has two points in SHAARD (one from County Survey and one from the Thematic Survey). We will keep you updated as more thematic surveys are entered into the database.

*The one exception is Center Township, Marion County. Due to the number of resources in Marion County, the three-digit county code for the other 8 townships is 097 (following the odd number sequence) and Center Township was given 098 as a county code to prevent running out of numbers.)

The numbering system is as such:

1) First three numbers (002) refer to the thematic survey type, in this case, it means it is part of the thematic round/polygonal barn survey.

2) Middle three numbers (004) is the quad number – same system as IHSSI.

3) Last Five (43003) – the first 2 are it’s county ID number (1 -92, alphabetically).  The last three are its number in the county. So, the barn 43003 is in Kosciusko County, and it is the third barn entered into the database from Kosciusko County.

Training – On May 2, DHPA staff Cathy Draeger-Williams and Ashley Thomas presented Section 106 training to staff with the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The training included the Section 106 process, state review, National Register, and how to use the SHAARD database. Diane Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) for the Miami of Oklahoma, also presented on her role as the THPO. The FSA staff were very engaging and facilitated an effective conversation.

Discover Invisible Indianapolis – On May 12, DHPA Archaeologists Wade Tharp and Amy Johnson attended a one day symposium entitled “Discover Invisible Indianapolis: A Day of Activities on Understanding Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City.” The free event was held at Indiana Landmarks. Interesting presentations included topics such as the archaeology of urban Detroit; researching neighborhoods through historic sources and online resources; and cemetery research. To learn more about Invisible Indianapolis, check out the blog at or find the Facebook group Invisible Indianapolis.

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