Amateurs had found some materials at the site in the 1960s. The site was professionally excavated from 1971-1988. Findings from the archaeological work were used to help recreate the village. It was named Sun Watch because scholars believe that a complex of posts in the center related to astronomical measurements. The Fort Ancient culture people would have planned rituals around a solar calendar.
The village was opened to the public as an open-air museum, and the site provides interpretive tours. Archaeological excavations are ongoing, with special opportunities for school groups and adult learners. Exhibits in the museum help interpret the history and culture of the people, and show some of the artifacts recovered at the site.
Because of its historical and archaeological value, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Because the many years of archaeological excavations at the three-acre site revealed so much about Fort Ancient culture, SunWatch Indian Village was recognized in 1990 as a National Historic Landmark.