Glenn Albert Black

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Glenn Albert Black was an influential archaeologist of the United States who was among the first professionals to study Indiana prehistoric sites. He was born 15 August 1900 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and died 2 September 1964.[citation needed]

Black began serious archaeological work before there were many training opportunities in archaeology in the United States. He did not attend college, but was awarded an honorary Ph.d. by Wabash College in 1951. He is considered to have been the only professional archaeologist focusing on Indiana ancient history until the 1960s. He is primarily responsible for the identification of many Native American archaeological sites in the area, including the Angel Mounds, which he brought to national attention. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.[citation needed] He was supported throughout his archaeological career by his friend Eli Lilly.

Black is best known for his posthumously published two-volume study of the Angel Mounds near Evansville, Indiana and their cultural tradition. He operated a field school at the site. His innovative excavation techniques were partly adopted by the University of Chicago Field School, one of the few training programs in archaeological field techniques in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Black is also notable for participating in a multidisciplinary investigation of the veracity of the Walam Olum creation account through archaeological means.[citation needed]

In addition to leading and reporting on excavations, he served in the Society for American Archaeology as President (1941–1942), Vice President (1939–1940), and Treasurer (1947–1951). The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University, established in 1971, is named for him.[1]


  • Black, Glenn Albert. 1967. Angel Site, An Archaeological, Historical and Ethnological Study (with James H. Kellar). Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2 volumes.


  1. "Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 

References cited