An Archeological Overview and Assessment of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana

Author(s): Dawn Bringelson; Jay Sturdevant

Year: 2007


The Indiana Dunes area along the southern Lake Michigan shore holds a unique and unsurpassed set of natural resources. The exceptional nature of this area’s topography and resulting biological diversity attracted the attention of scientific and conservation communities by the turn of the 20th century. This appreciation, coupled with severe and ongoing impact by industry to the southern Lake Michigan dunes, sparked activism that ultimately contributed to the formation of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (INDU) at the end of the 1960s. Today, INDU contains most of the last remaining intact duneland of the larger area. Archeological investigations of the dunes area, starting with avocational observations some 100 years ago, have intensified over recent decades as a result of park activities and research. Information about the archeological record at INDU derives from a wide variety of circumstances, including intensive and systematic inventory, testing and data recovery projects, but also from incidental discoveries and numerous monitoring projects. Data indicate that human use of the INDU area has occurred over much of the last 10,000 years. Archeological materials are distributed across INDU and suggest that some areas in the park were occupied and reoccupied over thousands of years. The intact topography at INDU offers a rare opportunity to learn more about prehistoric and historic land use and cultural relations around Lake Michigan and the mid-continent.

Cite this Record

An Archeological Overview and Assessment of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana. Dawn Bringelson, Jay Sturdevant. Technical Report ,97. Lincoln, Nebraska: National Park Service, Midwest Archeological Center. 2007 ( tDAR id: 371768) ; doi:10.6067/XCV87S7MP6

Spatial Coverage

min long: -87.16; min lat: 41.61 ; max long: -86.929; max lat: 41.739 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): National Park Service; Midwest Archeological Center

File Information

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