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Remains of Over 700 Native Americans Returned to Angel Mounds

The completion of an archaeological project was announced on Thursday where the remains of over 700 Native American individuals were returned to the Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 11:50 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2021 7:44 AM

New information has been released on an archaeological project that began at Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Indiana, in late March.

Until now, the nature of the project had been, for the most part, kept under wraps - but Indiana University revealed Thursday that the remains of over 700 Native American individuals who were previously unearthed from the historic site had been returned.

IU, along with several federally recognized tribal nations completed the repatriation project at Angel Mounds in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

Passed in 1990, NAGPRA mandates the return of Native American human remains and cultural items to tribal nations.

IU says that unearthing of the 700-plus remains recently returned to the Angel Mounds was a gradual process that began in the 1930s.

"After so many years, they are returning home," said Mike Linderman, western regional director for state historic sites at the Indiana State Museum and manager for Angel Mounds State Historic Site.

"I deeply appreciate the work by my IU and museum colleagues who took part in the sacred repatriation and reburial of the ancestral remains from our campus to Angel Mounds," IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said. "This somber, necessary, and important experience will remain in our hearts forever. I am grateful for the integrity, sensitivity, and care with which these human beings were restored to their proper homes."

You can hear more from IU on the project here.

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