About 500 to 700 years ago, the area we now call Angel Mounds State Historic Site was a thriving Mississippian Indian town. Built between A.D. 1050 and 1400, the town was occupied by 1,000 plus inhabitants until its abandonment around 1450. Throughout that time, it was the largest settlement in Indiana; it served as the center of trade, government and religion for smaller satellite communities within a 70-mile radius.
In 1938 the 603 acres that comprise Angel Mounds State Historic Site were purchased by the Indiana Historical Society with financial assistance from Eli Lilly. Nine years later the Indiana Historical Society transferred ownership to the State of Indiana. It is now managed and interpreted by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, while the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University is responsible for excavations and research on the site.