As one of Ball State University’s knowledge units, research and the creation of new knowledge is an important part of the Applied Anthropology Laboratories' (AAL) mission. Using grants from external granting agencies, we develop and conduct projects that support faculty and student research in the Department of Anthropology. We also provide space and access to collections for archaeologists from other universities and institutions to conduct research into important new fields in Midwestern prehistory and history.

In the past three decades, much of our research has been focused on historic and prehistoric human occupation of the till plain region, an area that encompasses much of central and northern Indiana. Additional research has been conducted on sites in the central Ohio River valley, the unglaciated region of southern Indiana, the lake and moraine region of northern Indiana, and on the historic settlement of central and southeastern Indiana. Our research extends into adjacent states as well, with contributions throughout the Midwest. Contact us for information on our current projects and grants.

AAL staff and research associates currently have research interests in:

  • Late Archaic exchange and social interaction from the Great Lakes to Ohio Valley
  • Source and chemical composition analysis of native copper and lithics
  • Early and Middle Woodland social and geographic landscapes and settlement
  • Late Woodland Albee Phase and Oneota occupations in central Indiana
  • Historic archaeology of rural life and farmsteads
  • Indigenous populations and descendant communities