As Forest Supervisor of the Hoosier National Forest, I'm pleased you're interested in this book. Here in Indiana we have a wealth of cultural heritage sites. We continue to discover more about past human use of southern Indiana's hill country and are excited to share this overview with you.
In 1992, we published a book, detailing the history of the area, entitled Looking at History: Indiana's Hoosier National Forest Region, 1600 to 1950. The book you're holding now is the companion to that earlier work. It focuses on human use of the region during the prehistoric period, prior to use of the written word.
Consider it. We have 400 years of history and perhaps 14,000 years of prehistory. Since the glaciers receded from the area, untold numbers of people have come and gone--changing and adapting to the environmental conditions. Modern archaeological methods and techniques are crucial to our ability to understand as much as possible about what little evidence remains.
As public land managers, we are entrusted with the care of these important non-renewable resources. Because archaeological sites are highly valued resources, numerous federal and state laws have been enacted to protect them from intentional and unintentional damage and destruction. Please help us protect our cultural heritage. If you find artifacts, leave them undisturbed and report their location to the heritage resource specialist in our Bedford office.
The timing of the publication of this book coincides with the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service and the 100th year of the Antiquities Act. For a century, our agency has been "Caring for the Land and Serving People," and this book dovetails well with our continuing efforts to do both.
Now, we are pleased to present this overview of the prehistory of the Hoosier National Forest region. We hope you enjoy and learn from these pages!