Etowah’s Great Mound originally looked very different than today!

It’s a dirty little secret!  What everyone thinks is the shape of the Great Mound at Etowah is entirely wrong.  The Etowah that Smithsonian Institute archaeologists encountered in the 1880s has been extensively altered in the decades before the Civil War and a flood in 1886.

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Historic preservation architects are trained to do meticulous research before preparing restoration drawings or in this case, construction of a massive town model that is eight feet long and six feet wide.   I was working on a project that would be on public display long after I was in heaven. Because of the fact that some of my ancestors could have helped build these structures , there was even more incentive for perfection . . . but ultimately, I screwed up.

No one has ever caught the mistake, because they made the same assumption as me  . . . that the appearance of the mounds seen in 1884 by Cyrus Thomas and John Rogan of the Smithsonian Institute were the result of modest erosion on earthen structures, which were abandoned around 1600 AD.  We were oh so wrong.

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Just to be certain,  I read and re-read the accounts of Etowah Mounds by pioneer archaeologist,  Charles C. Jones, Jr.  The landmark book on Southeastern archaeology by Jones was published in 1873,  but he had actually studied Etowah just before the Civil War.  Jones paid a civil engineer to prepare a site plan of Etowah.  It was the most accurate portrayal of the site before the late 20th century.  It also included mounds that were covered by silt or destroyed in the Great Flood of 1886.  There were actually 18 mounds on both sides of the Etowah River.

EtowahMounds-JonesSketch
Note that this site plan prepared for Charles Jones shows the ramp going all the way to the top, whereas today the ramp is lower and there is about a 12 wall of dirt blocking access from the ramp to the top. Obviously, more amateur digging occurred after Jones visited the site in 1860. Officially, there has been no significant excavation of Mound A by professional archaeologists.

The engineer’s site plan showed bulges on the west, north and south sides of the great mound and a somewhat different appearance to the south ramp on the mound.   I assumed that the bulges were mistakes, since “they didn’t make sense.”  However, otherwise, my model above matches Jone’s drawings, not what you see today.   The bottom 15 feet of the mound are concealed by silt deposited in the 1886 flood.   The flood also washed away about 20 feet of the soil of the original town, closer to the river.

The big surprise

While writing a Native American history of the Etowah Valley for Access Genealogy in 2014, a stumbled upon an extraordinary fact that has been completely ignored by Southeastern archaeologists for the past 155 years.  The Etowah Mounds site was visited and measured by Yale University Natural Science professor, Elias Cornelius in 1818.   At the time, the entire village site was covered in trees from 100 to 40 years old.   The three Cherokee men, who accompanied him to the ruins said that Cherokees had never lived there because it was haunted, when they arrived in the region about 25 years earlier.

The mound had a very different shape than either in 1860 or today.  As can be seen below, it had three ramps and an additional level on top, which was ROUND.   Furthermore,  Cornelius explored what appeared to be a basement to the last temple, which had tunnel access from the north and south.  The largest mound at Troyville Mounds in northern Louisiana also had a round mound on top.

1818-EtowahMounds-Detail

I contacted a former full time ranger at Etowah Mounds to see if he knew about the original shape of Mound A.   He told me that he had never seen the drawings by Professor Cornelius, but that the staff had known for some time that the Tumlin family, owners of the property from the 1830s to 1955,  had charged $200 a day to art collectors to excavate at will on the archaeological site from the 1830s until the 1870s.  The ramp that Jones saw and that is even larger today, was a construction ramp built by laborers working for the various people, who rented the archaeological zone by the day.

There is no telling what was taken out of that mound.  However, this might explain the numerous statues that are floating around the United States, which supposedly came from Etowah Mounds.

Between the concealed 15 feet at the bottom and the 20+ feet cut off the top during the 1800s, a surprising fact is revealed.  Etowah Mound A was originally about 110 feet high or the same height as Monks Mound at Cahokia.  However, it was far better engineered.  Even today,  Mound A has some of the steepest slopes of any Native American mound.  On the other hand,  Monks Mound has been chronically plagued by subsidence.

Learn something every day!

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Etowah Mounds almost became a McMansion subdivision during the Bush Administration

It was a battle that the public never knew about.  Courageous federal, state, local and Muskogee-Creek tribal employees lost their jobs for fighting what would have been an unimaginable travesty.  It is quite likely that much of the “weirdness,” associated with Creek heritage sites in Georgia up to this day, is a vestige of that bitter struggle.

It is the summer of 2001.  Etowah Mounds National Landmark’s visitation was thriving, but there was a strange look on the faces of its staff, as if they had been told their execution date.  Finally, the Creek lady from South Georgia, who managed this state historic site, spilled the beans to some Georgians of Creek decent.  None of us were ever in a position to do anything about it.

A multi-millionaire had made a surrealistic offer to Governor Zell Miller (D) around 1997.  It was made again to the man, who followed him in the governor’s mansion in 1999, Roy Barnes (D).  Both governors had responded positively.   Here was the proposal:

If the State of Georgia would either give or lease Etowah Mounds for one dollar to this developer, the man’s development company would tear down the existing museum, designed by the famous architect, Julian Harris, and erect a much larger one, named after the himself.  The museum would be adjunct to an exclusive shopping center containing restaurants, bars and boutiques.

The new museum would be operated by a foundation with a Cherokee name.  The director of the foundation would be an archaeologist, who was  then a consultant to a developer wanting to build a Cherokee casino in the same county that Etowah Mounds was located in.  This same archaeologist would later become one of the most rabid attackers of the “Maya In Georgia Thing.”  We suspected that the developer’s long range plans also included a casino.

In return for relieving the State of Georgia of the cost of maintaining Etowah Mounds,  the developer wanted the state to remove all environmental and historic preservation restrictions for several hundred acres of land around the state’s property, which were in both a no-build US Army Corps of Engineers flood hazard area and part of the nation’s largest historic district.   The developer wanted to build a gated golf course community in this tract, composed of houses costing at least a million dollars.  Top Georgia officials said yes.

The staff at Etowah Mounds told us that the objective of this bizarre real estate development was to provide an enclave for very wealthy occultists.  Supposedly there was a “power vortex” at Etowah Mounds, which these people could channel in order to control the world . . . or something like that.

There apparently was something to their story.  The developer was a homosexual and the leader of a male cult that also functioned as his private army.  All the men had red, sandy or blond colored hair, plus Prince Albert beards.  Each was given an impeccable $800+ suit to wear all the time, plus a brand new black Mercedes-Benz SUV with illegally tinted windows.

When the developer and state officials took the proposal to Washington, DC,  Clinton Administration officials essentially laughed them out of town.  They were incredulous that Georgia would want to privatize and develop one of the premier archaeological zones in the United States.

Nevertheless, planning continued at the local and state level, as if all was go for the project.  If a state, county or city employee insisted on obeying the laws of Georgia and the United States, they were fired.

The developer switched from being a Democrat to a Republican then became one of the largest donors to the 2000 Bush Presidential campaign.  The staff at Etowah Mounds was depressed by early summer, because the Bush Whitehouse had ordered the immediate firing of EPA, Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior and National Park Service employees, who refused to sign off on the Etowah McMansions.  All were under Civil Service protection.  All were framed to make it look like they had committed criminal acts, so they could be fired summarily.

Apparently,  it was in this period that someone on the staff at Etowah Mounds tipped off the Muscogee-Creek Nation.  The Creek director was soon forced to take medical retirement in her 40’s, “because her carpal syndrome prevented her from firing a pistol accurately.”  In the 60 year history of Etowah Mounds, there has never been a incident in which the rangers were even required to carry pistols.

I had moved my architecture practice away from Cartersville in 1999 because of all of the weirdness associated with the planned project.  I was never involved with any of the efforts to stop it, but apparently they didn’t want a Creek architect serving on the county planning commission and the city Board of Zoning Appeals.   The last straw for me was when the Cartersville Police Chief pulled up along side my car at an intersection and said, “Richard we’re gonna kick your butt.”   I had done nothing political.  I was totally absorbed in the dating scene, trying to find a new wife.

I continued to get large architecture projects in the Cartersville area even though I was living 45 miles away.  On several occasions, I noticed 6′-3″ to 6′-5″ Mexicans working as laborers in the vicinity of Etowah Mounds.  They spoke Spanish with a Southern drawl.

The self-proclaimed aristocracy in Cartersville was so detached from other cultures, they didn’t even realize that these men were really either Creeks or Seminoles.  Whether they were sent by the Creek Nation or from insubordinate Justice Department offices, we shall never know. What they were doing there, I can only speculate.

I really can’t tell you what the elected officials and employees of the Muscogee-Creek Nation specifically did to stop a project that had the backing of all the “powers and principalities”, but they did.  I did encounter several Wind Clan Keepers from Oklahoma and South Florida in Cartersville, who were obviously conducting spiritual warfare. Certain tribal employees put their heart and soul into protecting Etowah Mounds.  They won that battle, but were fired immediately after former Principal Chief George Tiger took office.   We will owe a debt to these brave people for all time.

Between 2006 and 2008,  the new Georgia Parks and Historic Sites Director, Becky Kelly,  laid off all the employees at Native American archaeological sites, who had postgraduate degrees in history or archaeology.  She eventually also laid off the park rangers and replaced them with part time employees.  To this day,  all of these sites, including New Echota, the former Cherokee capital, are open only 3-4 days a week and have skeleton staffs.

Just remember the next time you visit Etowah Mounds that many people both in Georgia and the Washington, DC area had their careers destroyed because they stood up for what was right.  The fact that you can look out from the tops of those mounds into a verdant landscape was made possible by their sacrifices.  Say a little thank you prayer for them before you leave the grounds.

The photo above is of the model of Etowah Mounds that sits beneath the Great Seal of the Muscogee-Creek Nation.  It was created in 2007 to celebrate the victory of the brave leaders and employees of this tribe, who stopped the devil when he came down to Georgia.

The Phantom Native American strikes back!

As a politically correct solution to a “Cherokee Museum” in Georgia being named after a prominent Creek family and political title, we propose that the enterprise change its name to the “Jimmy Carter Republican Museum.”    A wax statue of Iron Eyes Cody could be at the entrance.

Espera Oscar de Corti was a first generation Sicilian-American in Louisiana, who in early adulthood re-styled himself as the Cherokee warrior,  Iron Eyes Cody.   Once that name got him parts in Western movies, he alternatively billed himself as a Sioux Indian Warrior.

In all fairness to Jimmy Carter,  he probably did more positive things for Native Americans than any American president in history.

How would you like a New Echota Choctaw Musuem, Sequoya Chickasaw Museum or a Qualla Muskogee History Museum? 

This morning an attorney in Gainesville, GA,  who represented himself as David Kennedy, Jr, Esquire,  of the Kennedy-Holden Law Firm, LLP sent me a sarcastic certified letter, plus two emails, that threatened a libel suit against me on behalf of himself and the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokees, Inc, because I said that Yahoola was solely a Creek family name and title, not a Cherokee word. I never had heard of this tribe until they demanded that I not mention them.  I have no clue why they thought I mentioned them.

We removed mention of the name of the museum from the article, but will tell you about the threatening letter the attorney sent us.

I responded by email that we do not use titles of nobility in the United States, such as esquire. He must have written me from England, not Gainesville.  I also sent him a detailed explanation of the etymology of Yahoola and the contact information for Thomas Yahola,  Speaker of the National Council of the Muscogee-Creek Nation for confirmation of my statements about Yahoola.

David Kennedy, Jr, is an attorney in Gainesville, GA and a member of the Cherokee tribe that demanded that their museum not be mentioned in POOF. What is obvious, speaks for itself.
David Kennedy, Jr, is an attorney in Gainesville, GA and a “Georgia” Cherokee. His tribe demanded that their museum not be mentioned in POOF.

Instead,  Squire Kennedy, sent another sarcastic email stating that his tribe could name their museum anything they wanted to . . . including the names of Native Americans from other tribes.  One of the examples, he used, was the famous Shoshone woman, Sacagawea.  It is very important legally that this attorney foolishly presented his role as both attorney and aggrieved litigant.

What a Creek attorney told us after reading the letters

Of course, an enterprise can legally use a wide variety of names, but those offended by the inappropriate use of a corporate name have a Constitutional Right to publicly criticize its use. A good example is the continued public protests against the Washington Redskins. This does not constitute public libel, since as both of us know, your statement was correct.   Yahoola is a Creek family name and word.”

“In this particular situation,  considering what’s been going on in Georgia for the past few decades, the use of a Creek family name and political title for a Cherokee-themed museum, which actually functions as a retail store, becomes a fraudulent public statement.   It is subject to tort action and severe damages in federal court by any Creek tribe in the United States or class action by Creek descendants in a Georgia court.  Because of the imprudent statements made by this attorney in conjunction with legal threats in three letters,  I think that we have a very strong case for legal action against his incorporated firm, him personally and his tribe for violation of your constitutional rights.  Here is why.”

“You have to understand that when a so-called museum markets itself as a commercial tourist-oriented enterprise, it lowers the bar for what is defined as violation of constitutional rights and increases the potential damages to the aggrieved parties substantially. You were not a customer of the museum store, but an aggrieved party, viewing from a public street.”

Richard, why didn’t they just name it the Dahlonega Cherokee Museum?  Isn’t Dahlonega a Cherokee word ?  Also, I also don’t understand why he used such threatening and sarcastic language.  He could have just nicely said, “Sorry, for our mistake.  We will put up an explanation for Yahoola in the museum.” Knowing you,  that would have been the end of it.

“Let’s get this guy on the witness stand.  He made some major legal mistakes in his letters.  I presume that he was trying to scare you so much that he didn’t realize what could happen to him in court.  Did you see in his second email,  in response to your detailed explanation of the word, yahoola, he said that the Creek origin of the word was irrelevant?  He admitted culpability.”

“His letter and two emails constitute prima facie evidence of his personal interference with your constitutional right of free speech, so we don’t have to send him a warning letter.  Cut off contact with him, but first let him know how much legal exposure, he has put his firm and tribe in.

It is more than a matter of semantics

Those readers from other parts of the United States probably think that this is a trivial matter. It is not, if one looks at the outrageous efforts in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia over the past 30 years to erase the presence of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Yuchi/Uchee and Catawba Tribes . . . replacing that history with an impression that the Cherokees were the only tribe in the Southeast and they built all the mounds in the Southeast.

The official Department of Interior map for the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act completely erases the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Uchee, Alabama and Catawba Tribes.  All former Choctaw territory is labeled “Unknown Tribal Affiliation”.  All former Chickasaw territory is labeled “Cherokee.”  The Yuchi’s don’t exist and their territory in Tennessee is labeled “Cherokee”.  The Catawba’s territory in South Carolina is also labeled “Cherokee.”

The Oakville Mounds are in Woodland Period archaeological zone within the heart of the former Chickasaw Nation in Alabama. The museum at the mounds is dedicated to the Cherokees and has an eight feet tall statue of Sequoyah at its entrance.

Etowah Mounds National Landmark in Cartersville, GA is considered the mother town of the Creek People.   In the spring of 2006 a delegation of North Carolina Cherokees showed up at Etowah Mounds and demanded that all references to the Creek Indians in the museum be removed.   In response, the Georgia Division of Parks and Historic Sites removed all Creek-authored books and Creek art from the Etowah Museum Store.  It permanently banned the annual and very popular Creek Indian Celebration at Sweetwater Creek State Park.   Two weeks before the event, the division director then uninvited a delegation of top elected officials of the Muscogee-Creek Nation to the annual Creek Barbicoa fund-raising banquet.  The Creek Nation had just donated $5000 to the State of Georgia to fund archaeological work at Etowah.  North Carolina Cherokee officials were invited in their place and the name of the annual banquets was changed.

We could go on with many more examples of Imperial History.  However, it continues because the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Uchees and Creeks didn’t stand up and say,  “No . . . enough is enough.”

This is Bubba Mountain Lion. He is a Georgia Creek architect. He is mad as a hornet and wants to take some financial scalps of attorneys behaving badly. You want to come along on the hunt?

Any Creek tribe in the United States wishing in joining the tort, conspiracy to deprive civil rights and ethnic defamation suits against the Kennedy-Holden Law firm and Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokees, Inc.. please contact us at:

PeopleOfOneFire@aol.com. 

Litigation will be in the Federal District Court of North Georgia.

You really could have a Creek princess in your family tree!

However, she was not quite the same princess that you had in mind.

The chronicles of 16th and 17th century European  explorers in the Lower Southeast repeatedly describe hereditary elites governing provinces that were ancestral to the Creek Indians.  The elites typically lived in separate villages, wore more elaborate clothing (yes, clothing, not skins!) and even spoke different languages than the commoners.   These societies were organized identically to those of Mesoamerica, but were democratic, constitutional monarchies, not despotic kingdoms.

Etowah-Priestess-BRYes, in contrast to Mesoamerica and most North American indigenous societies, all women in both classes of citizenship could vote.  Elite women could be elected to any political office except military command. Proto-Creek priestesses are also documented in their art.  This gorget was excavated from Mound C at Etowah Mounds in Cartersville, GA.   The dancer is wearing  the headdress of a Maya priestess of the god, Kulkulkan,  better known by his Nahuatl name of Quetzalcoatl.

TEMPLE-INTERIOR

It was quite common for elite women to hold positions of power in Proto-Creek provinces.  However, even though commoner women had the right to vote for candidates for provincial offices,  they typically only served as clan officials.  The top clan leaders were members of the lower legislative body in a Creek province.

The quickest ticket to the top for commoner girls was to win the equivalent of the Miss America Contest.   The Creek version of a beauty pageant was based far more on intelligence and social skills than looks, since early white traders described the Creek lasses as almost always being quite attractive and trim figured.

The British labeled the winners of these contests, “Trade Girls,” but a more accurate term would be Foreign Relations Representative or Career Princess. These indigenous versions of State Department officials embarked on an intensive education into becoming fluent in foreign languages (both indigenous and European); learning tribal and regional history; learning how to create and wear the latest in Muskogean fashions, plus how to please a man in every way.

ShipiboDancing6That’s right.  In that sense, they were the equivalent of geisha girls, except that they enjoyed extremely high social and political status. Princesses carried messages to other Native provinces and European colonial officials.  While being “eye candy” to European men, they were actually skilled espionage agents.  They had powerful oral and visual memories that recorded in detail everything around them.

European men typically assumed all these female diplomats to be mindless entertainers for their pleasure, who didn’t fully understand the events and words sweeping around them. They were wrong!

The princesses would report back to their Great Sun immediately upon arriving home and inform key leaders everything that they had seen and heard.  As translators and “CIA agents” they were important participants in council meetings, often sitting or standing near the Great Sun or sitting with the council members.

Among the progenitors of the Creeks,  there was nothing at all immoral about premarital sex.  In fact, parents encouraged their sons and daughters to date around for as long as 10 years prior to marriage, so they wouldn’t have wanderlust when married. Adultery was illegal and severely punished.   Creek women, both single and married, used several types of herbal birth control.  They typically waited to about the ages of 23 to 25 to have their first child.

In order to get dates, single men and women attended weekly sock hops on the town square or in the chokopa (chukufa) when the weather was inclement.   That is why the Creeks are the only indigenous people in the Americas, who have numerous social dances that involve men and women holding hands.  As is the case today,  one should hold hands before moving on to other things.

Once the princess was ready to settle down to one man and have children, she was guarantied the cream of the crop in her choice of husbands.  He would be a highly respected peacetime leader or warrior.  Alternatively, in the colonial period, he could be a white trader, who could lavish European goods on her.

Thus, if your female Creek ancestor was significant enough to have her name remembered,  it is highly likely that she enjoyed a glamorous celebrity career as an international call girl, CIA agent, skilled artist, powerful government official and fashion diva, before settling down to birth the child that became your ancestor.   She was not the docile White Buffalo Calf Women portrayed by Hollywood.

Descriptions in the Colonial Archives

The earliest clear description we have of a hierarchal indigenous society in the Southeast comes from the chronicles of the De Soto Expedition in the summer of 1540.   The Spaniards first entered the  elite compound in the center of the great town of Kausha (Kvsv ~ Kusa ~ Coça in Castilian).  A Muskogean “V” or Itza Maya “AA” was written by Castilians as either o, u or au.   A Muskogean and Itza Maya “S” is pronounced as either sh or jzh sound, which Castilian writers recorded as a “ç”.

The Spaniards were invited to stay in the elite compound, but De Soto camped out most of his troops on a rocky hill to the east of the compound.  He was concerned that they could be trapped in the palisaded compound.  (See drawing below.)

A commoners village was established on the north side of the confluence of the Coosawattee River and Talking Rock Creek around 1325 AD.   Shortly after the sacking of Etula (Etowah Mounds) about 27 miles to the south around 1375 AD,   a royal village was established on the south side of Talking Rock Creek.

The Spanish chroniclers stated that the royal village contained the members of the governing elite, plus leaders of the standing army. The elite village also contained temples, warehouses, communal buildings and a plaza exclusively used by the elite.  On the north side of the main temple was a large plaza that was where the commoners could enter the royal village to hear speeches by its leaders and participate in grand festivals.   According to the Spanish, the elite village contained about 500 houses.  The Spanish counted over 3,000 houses in all seven villages or neighborhoods in Kausha.

In the summer of 2006, the US Army Corps of Engineers drained the Lower Reservoir at Carters Lake for a week, thus enabling someone to actually walk on and measure the mounds at Kusa for the first time since 1970. Combing field measurements with infrared satellite imagery, I was able to create a massive computer model of the entire urban zone. In the foreground is the Elite Village. In the right background is the Commoners Village.
In the summer of 2006, the US Army Corps of Engineers drained the Lower Reservoir at Carters Lake for a week, thus enabling someone to actually walk on and measure the mounds at Kusa for the first time since 1970. Combining field measurements with infrared satellite imagery, I was able to create a massive computer model of the entire Carters Bottom Area. In the foreground is the Elite Village. In the right background is the Commoners Village.  In the gap at the rear of the town you can see the 40 feet high waterfall that was recreated for the movie, Deliverance.   The book of the same name was based on the damming of the Coosawattee River.  No one knew that one of the largest Native towns in North America was here, until after the dam was already built.  It is the largest earth and boulder dam in the Americas.
On the left is the public plaza for commoners. In the center is the Plaza for the elite and distinguished visitors. In the background is the hill on which the Spanish camped.
On the left is the public plaza for commoners. In the center is the Plaza for the elite and distinguished visitors. In the background is the hill on which the Spanish camped.

Caucasian anthropologists and archaeologists in the Southeast have generally made minimal efforts to translate Native American words prior to describing the cultures that used those words.  University textbooks will tell you that there was no connection between the Kusa in northwest Georgia and Kusabo Indians on the coast of South Carolina. That ill-researched presumption turned out to be false.

As early as the fall of 2013,  Marilyn Rae and I had identified proof of a South American cultural presence in the Southeast.  It took us awhile to figure out what that presence was and when it arrived.   The big break came with the discovery of the box containing the Creek Migration Legends in April 2015.   These handwritten English documents were the minutes of translations of Apalache-Creek written documents made by that famous Creek lady,  Princess  Kvsapvnvkesa.  You know her as Mary Musgrove!

It soon became obvious that many the commoners of the Kausha state, known as Kaushi-te or Cusseta,  had originated in northern Vera Cruz State, Mexico, near the Orizaba Volcano.  They are the “stars” of the most famous Creek Migration Legend.  Other commoners and vassals living near them were Koasati,  Uchee,  Tanasi, Chiaha (Itza Mayas) and Talasee.  The Talasee were descendants of the town of Etula, now called Etowah Mounds.

The original Kausha or Kaushi were of Peruvian origin,   The Kaushi immigrated to NW Georgia from the coast of South Carolina.  While living on the coast, they had mixed with Itza Maya immigrants.  The coastal people called themselves the Kaushabo, which means “Place where the Kaushi People live.”  Kaushi means “strong or brave” in the Panaon language of Peru.  British colonists changed that name to Cusabo,  but there is still a Kaushibo tribe in eastern Peru.

And now you know!

 

Apalache towns developed beside white water rivers or waterfalls

The engraving above was produced in 1658 in Rotterdam, Holland.  It illustrates an Apalache town at Hurricane Shoals on the North Oconee River in Jackson County, GA. Both the Apalache in Georgia and the Panoan peoples of eastern Peru wore conical hats and long colorful tunics.

From Helen, GA to Amicalola Falls to De Soto Falls, Alabama . . . from Phenix City to the Flint River Gorge to Metro Atlanta to Indian Springs to Macon to Augusta . . . their towns and villages were all the same.  

Even though they produced “Mississippian” style pottery, the huge Apalache towns bore little resemblance to what anthropology books tell you Southeastern indigenous towns looked like during that period. For example, between around 200 AD and 1700 AD, there was a massive town that covered most of Downtown Helen and stretched two miles northward along the rapids of the Chattahoochee River to Robertstown. There were no large mounds in this town.   When Helen was booming in the 1970s, archaeologists told county planners to ignore the potsherds scattered across the landscape.  It was just a few  Indian farmsteads.

The Itsa-te towns also often contained stone architecture , but they were much more compact and situated at different locations.  The Itsa-te preferred easily defended mountain gaps that controlled major trade routes or the intersections of important trade paths.  They frequently built ceremonial mounds.  Some of them became quite large.

In his 1658 book, l’Histoire Naturelle et Morale des isles Antilles de l’Amérique, Pasteur Charles de Rochefort wrote that the Apalache towns in northern Georgia and northeast Alabama were linearly clustered along fast moving rivers, but did build some temples above or in caves under waterfalls – such as at De Soto Falls.  Each town was at least a French league (2.1 miles) long.  Nearby was a mountain or large hill on which sat an ancient temple-observatory. That is exactly what I am finding in our continuing survey of stone architecture sites in the Southern  Highlands . . . but why?

Those of you, who have read The Apalache Chronicles by Marilyn Rae and myself,  may recall that 19th century Ivy League scholars cast De Rochefort’s book aside because it described what obviously would have been the most advanced indigenous civilization, north of Mexico, in Dixie!  That couldn’t be.  Southerners were backward, therefore the Indians before them had to be backward.

This intellectual arrogance was perpetuated by Northern scholars despite the fact that the word, Apalache, was shown in maps over the Southern Highlands from 1562 to 1707.   So the current generation of anthropologists and historians in the Southeast can be forgiven for their ignorance of De Rochefort. The book was just not available to them until it was published on the internet.

HOWEVER, the pioneer anthropologist of the Southeast,  Charles C. Jones, Jr. DID know and write about a lost civilization in the Southern Highlands in 1873.  His book has been mandatory reading for Southeastern anthropologists for over a century.  Apparently, no one paid any attention to his words, however.  He wrote:

“When English speaking settlers came into the Southern Piedmont and Mountains, they encountered stone structures throughout the landscape. There were many stone walls, stone altars and even the ruins of stone buildings. Within a generation most of stone structures were gone and almost forgotten. They had become foundations, chimneys and the walls of new buildings. No one knew who had built these mysterious structures.”

“It was supposed that such things could not have been built by Indians, since it was thought that American Indians were too primitive to create such architecture. It was supposed that perhaps the Spanish or Prince Madoc built them.”

What I have found is that many of these Apalache town sites were visited by archaeologists between 1939 and 1979.  They ignored the nearby stone ruins, because they assumed that these old structures were built by white settlers in the early 1800s. They dug test pits in the flood plains and found dense concentrations of pottery going back to the Woodland Period, but walked away from the town sites because there were no mounds.  None of the archaeologists had any clue that these towns stretched along white water rivers for two or three miles.  Because there were no mounds, they assumed that the spot where they dug was a small village of no consequence.

The Peruvian Connection

There was something else that almost all these Apalache town sites shared in common.  The first occupation level contained Swift Creek pottery (200 AD –  600 AD), Napier pottery (600 AD – 900 AD) or Late Swift Creek pottery (600 AD – 1000 AD).   A fact unknown to Gringo archaeologists is that Swift Creek pottery was identical to the Conibo pottery in Peru in the same time period,  while Napier was almost identical to Shipibo pottery in Peru.  Even today the Conibo people weave shirts and dresses with “Swift Creek’ patterns on them.  There must be a connection.

After realizing this connection, I began studying the Panoan languages, which include Conibo, Shipibo and Kashibo.  There were capital towns in Peru, Georgia and on the Little Tennessee River named Satipo.  There were several basic words in the Creek language and the Panoan languages that were pronounced the same and meant the same.  They included the words for tobacco, yaupon holly tea and a village chief.   However,  that still did not explain why Swift Creek and Apalache towns were built linearly along the edges of white water rivers.

Then I stumbled upon this music video below.  It caught my attention first because the gals dancing looked like Creek gals from Alabama Florida or Georgia.  In fact, one of them is a “spitting image” of a Creek lass, I dated for a year at Georgia Tech.  The men are wearing “Seminole” long shirts and  the structures in the village look like those of the Seminoles or Creeks.

What is particularly interesting about this video is that they are performing a dance, which was also recorded by European painters in the Southeast during the 1500s through the 1700s.  Note how they handle the small bowls.   Also note that the Shipibo town was built along a white water river.  That got me wondering.

One has to go into anthropology books published in Peru to really learn about the Conibo and Shipibo.   They live in the eastern flanks of the Andes, which contain mountains almost identical to the Appalachians.  Just like the Appalachians, it is a beautiful landscape of dense foliage, flowers, white water rivers and waterfalls.  The only difference is that their homeland is near the equator.   The Panoans did not build large pyramidal mounds, but did build low, oval burial mounds, just like those found in many Swift Creek villages in Georgia.

Several Peruvian anthropologists stated that Shipibo and Conibo villages have always been built next to white water rivers, but they also built temples above, near or within waterfalls.  These waterfalls shrines sometimes grew into villages also.   The reason for this preference for white water was originally their diet, which included many fish and freshwater shellfish, but evolved into a tradition of their religion.  Even today, their religious ceremonies include the drinking of the Sacred Black Drink, just like the Creeks of the past.

Then it all became clear.  About 1200 years ago,  bands of Panoans fled the brutality of their Moche enemies in Peru and made it all the way to Southeastern North America.  They sought out a landscape that looked like home and developed their villages the way that they always had before.

Now you know!

 

 

 

Guess where this Cherokee Band is performing

Think that this photo was made on the Strip in Cherokee, NC?

You’re wrong!

MysteryNativesRevealed

Dennis Partridge, a member of the People of One Fire, and a director of the Apalache Foundation, took this photograph in the Czech Republic.   He says that there are several “Native American” bands are touring Europe these days, who are really Armenians.  They dress as Lakota Sioux, but call themselves Cherokees.

Mystery2Most Europeans and Americans are fooled because they are accustomed to seeing Jewish, Italian and Middle Eastern actors portray Native American men.  Very often the actresses portraying Native American women did have some Native or Oriental ancestry, mixed with Irish or French heritage.

So your family is from Alabama, Georgia or South Carolina and think you are Cherokee?

As commercial DNA labs are becoming more skilled in mass testing genetic samples, a lot of folks in the Southeast, whose great-grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, are finding out that she was more likely a daughter of Zion or the descendants of Spanish grandees.   There is an answer in history . . . at least in the factual history that POOF researchers are developing.

The drawing above portrays a Sephardic Jewish or Spanish gold mining village on Dukes Creek in White County, GA, which was discovered in 1828, mentioned in the first archaeological book on the Southeast in 1873, then erased from Georgia’s history books.

This past Thursday, a lovely lady with jet black hair stalked me for awhile then approached me at the cheese counter of the Dahlonega, GA WalMart.  She whispered,  “Excuse me sir.” 

I was not accustomed to having attractive female strangers speak to me. I looked around to see if she was actually talking to someone else.   She smiled directly at me  . . . “Are you the guy on the History Channel program about the Mayas?” 

Still surprised, I answered, “Yep, that’s me.  You are one of the few people in Dahlonega, I’ve met that even knew about the program.  For some reason,  everybody at the Fresh ‘N Frugal Supermarket watched it, though.

She smiled, “Wow, that’s weird.  I thought you were famous.  I just subscribed to y’all’s newsletter, The People of One Fire. It’s great!  What are you doing in Dahlonega ?  Have you found a Maya city here?”

I answered, “Oh, I live here.  The premier of “America Unearthed” was filmed here.  For reasons, I still can’t figure out,  the Dahlonega Nugget (local newspaper)  decided to censure out anything to do with the film crew being here, the Mayas in Georgia program on the History Channel, the Creek Indians or me individually.  

She laughed and said, “I’d believe that.  Unless you have a kid playing sports at Lumpkin High School, there is not a whole lot in the Nugget these days, but ads.

Hey, I’m glad I ran into you, because I have been wanting to write y’all.  Both my mama’s and my daddy’s family always thought that they were Cherokees.  In fact, they were members of a Cherokee Tribe when I was little, but I am not sure if it still exists.”

I sent off DNA samples of me and my kids to “23 and Me” in hope that we could be made members of the Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina.  The tests came back that we were Jewish, Scottish . . . uh-h-h . . . Iberian, North African and  uh-h-h . . . Northern Germanic.  We had absolutely no Indian blood.  So my great-great-great-grandmother that we always said was a full-blooded Cherokee princess who married a gold miner, wasn’t a Cherokee at all.”

What’s really weird is that back in the 1990s, one of my best friends was a gal here in Dahlonega, whose family was from Nazareth in Israel.  They were Christian Palestinians and could have been descended from Jesus.  She is really pretty and almost looks oriental.”

“Boy did she tell a different story than what the newspapers and Muslims are saying.  She said that most of the people calling themselves Palestinians today are Arabs.  The real Palestinians are either Christians or Jewish.  First, the Muslim Arabs stole their land in the 1800s and then after Israel became a separate country, the European Jews stole their businesses.

Well, anyway . . . everyone always said that she and I could be twin sisters.   We do look alike.  I always joked that maybe the Mormons were right.  The Ten Tribes of Israel did settle here and become Cherokee Indians.  But then, after I read your article about New Jerusalem, it all made sense.  We could have been twin sisters . . . well, distant cousins.  Why don’t my kids’ history textbooks talk about that?”

The only answer that I could give her was, “I don’t know”, but added, “Hey, this will blow your mind.  You know the (censored) Museum down on (censored) Street?    (Censored)  is a Creek word, not Cherokee.  It is still the official title of the Speaker of the Muscogee-Creek National Council.”

*On February 10, 2016. a white couple, living about a mile to the northwest and wearing Indian “thangs” drove up to my house in a jeep, festooned with Injun thangs.  The man delivered a letter from a lawyer in Gainesville, GA  that said if I mentioned name of their tribe or the name of the museum in this article they would sue me for libel.  We removed the words, but they have a big surprise coming.  As the white man wearing the bear claws drove away from my cabin, he announced, “We know who we are. Do you know what you are?”   He displayed a demonic smile and walked back to his jeep. I didn’t know the name of the tribe, until they threatened to sue me. 

She looked dumbfounded.  “You’re kidding.  My children’s father and I  gave money to that museum in honor of my Cherokee ancestor, who we now know was not even Cherokee!”

Yep . . . welcome to the world of Southeastern non-history.

Native descendants in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina

There were definitely hundreds or thousands of people from the Old World living in the Southern Highlands in the 1600s.  Where they went or what happened to their descendants has always been an enigma.  Maybe they never left the Southeast.

There is a gross misconception of where the Cherokees lived in South Carolina and Georgia.  Cherokee villages were never located anywhere but in the extreme northwestern tip of South Carolina.  Their maximum population was about 1200, but declined steadily to a handful by 1776.  Yet half the white people in Piedmont and Up Country of South Carolina claim to be the descendant of a Cherokee Princess.

In recent years, several Chambers of Commerce in North Georgia have adopted the motto, “Home of the Cherokee Indians for at least 10,000 years.”  Of course, the $1000 a year that they get from the North Carolina Cherokees encourages that belief.  The first Cherokee village appeared in what is now Georgia in the 1720s. However, until the American Revolution, the Cherokees were never located anywhere in Georgia, but the extreme northeastern tip.  In 1776, the British government estimated the entire Cherokee population of Georgia to be about 100 persons.

The boundary line between the Creeks and the Cherokees ran through the middle of Stephens, Habersham and White Counties.  Clarkesville, GA originated as a trading post that mainly served the Georgia Creeks in the southern half of the county and the Soque from South Carolina, who had been settled in the northern half of the county.  The Soque were NOT Cherokees, but a Muskogean people assigned to Cherokee territory.   You can check the official history of Habersham County, if you don’t believe me.

All of the village and stream names in the Nacoochee Valley of White County are Creek words.   Mt. Yonah had a Creek name of Nocasee until after the Indians were gone. The Chickasaw were the aboriginal occupants of the Nacoochee Valley and continued to live in the southern half of White County, plus parts of Banks County, as members of the Creek Confederacy. These days White County is one of those counties that call themselves the home of the Cherokee Indians for 10,000 years.

Let’s just tell like it is.  The State of Georgia did a far more efficient job of a  “Final Solution” for the Cherokees than the Gestapo’s rounding up of the Jews during World War II.  Between 1828 and 1832, every square foot of Cherokee territory was surveyed. The surveys included every building, every fruit tree and every Cherokee located on that farm.

By the time of the Trail of Tears, Georgia officials also knew the names of virtually every Cherokee, who had earlier moved west, or  were from the wealthy Cherokee slave-owning class, that had sold their property and moved to Tennessee.  All Cherokees and Free Blacks in Georgia were required to have the equivalent of passports to travel through the state, outside the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.

Creeks, Uchees and Caucasians inside the Cherokee Nation were not usually listed in the surveys.  In fact, over 3,000 Creeks were living in the Cherokee Nation, when the roundup began in 1838.   About 800 were seized by federal troops anyway, but the majority hid out in the rugged Cohutta, Brasstown and Nantahala Mountain Ranges to avoid capture. With them were a few hundred Cherokees, who became the nucleus of the Qualla Cherokees in North Carolina.  Most Towns County, GA Indians were living at such remote locations that they avoided detection.  The mountain Creeks just became invisible and assimilated with the arriving white settlers.

A vast area of northern Alabama was first settled in the 1700s by people of Sephardic Jewish ancestry or mixed Jewish, Northern European and indigenous ancestry, who had been driven out of eastern Tennessee by the invading Cherokees.  In the hill country around Jasper, Alabama, the local families acknowledge their Jewish ancestry.  However, to the north, in an area of Northwest Alabama that was always Chickasaw, quite a few of these Sephardic descendants have organized “Cherokee” tribes and given themselves Cherokee names and Cherokee clan membership.  They can’t understand why their DNA tests show up with “zip” or only minuscule Asiatic ancestry.

Native America descendants in  North Georgia

The only location in North Georgia where authentic Cherokee ancestry can easily be documented is Bartow and Gordon Counties.  This area is where wealthy members of the Vann, Ross, Hicks, Thomas, Saunders, Adair, Ralston and Hughes families resettled from Tennessee after the troops had left.

The only other locations of legitimate Cherokee ancestry would be a Cherokee woman, who was married to a white man.   Such families were allowed to stay in Georgia, but not at the same location as where they lived in the Cherokee Nation.  The chance of any of you having a “full blooded Cherokee” female ancestor is almost zero.  White men by the late 1700s preferred light skinned mixed bloods to insure that they were not part African.  At any rate,  the term, full blood, is an oxymoron when applied to Cherokees.  Almost none of the important leaders of the Cherokees were ethnic Cherokees in the 1700s and early 1800s.  They were either from some other tribe or of predominantly European ancestry.

Most of the Native American descendants in Murray, Fannin, western Gilmer and Union Counties call themselves Cherokees.  However, many wonder why their physical appearance is of tall, gracile eagle-like people, and very different than the Cherokees up in North Carolina.

These raptor-like people are the descendants of the aboriginal Kusa Creeks and Uchee.   in the late 1780s, the  Overhill Cherokees were not particularly interested in locating within rugged mountains and so let the indigenous peoples remain, if they submitted to Cherokee authority.  That is why the Creek place names of Coosa and Nottely, plus the Uchee place name of Choestoe still exist in Union County.

Choestoe is the Anglicization for the Uchee word for their Rabbit Clan.  There were originally a chain of villages with that name along the Hiwassee River in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

If your  “Native ancestry” is from White, Stephens, Habersham, Banks, Jackson, Hart or Elbert Counties in Georgia, plus all points south, your Native ancestry is most likely either Creek, Chickasaw, Uchee, Sephardic Jewish or Middle Eastern . . . no matter what your family tradition says you are.

Very few of the Native American place names in North Georgia are actually Cherokee words.  Most that are Cherokee words were added after the Cherokees left.    The general assumption among most North Georgians is that if it is an Indian word, it must be Cherokee.   The creator of the premier web site for translating Cherokee place names gave himself a Cherokee name.  It was a mountain in his county.  He has always been frustrated, though, because he couldn’t translate his official Cherokee name with a Cherokee dictionary.  Good reason, the mountain’s name is straight out of a modern Muskogee-Creek dictionary.

If your “Native Ancestry” is from Gwinnett, Lumpkin, Dawson, Pickens or Gilmer County Counties in Georgia,  it is most likely a mixture of Spanish, Sephardic Jewish, Dutch and Middle Eastern. For example,  the Perry Family of Ellijay-Gilmer County are considered scions of Georgia Cherokees.  However, they look like people of Spanish-British ancestry.  There is a good reason.  Their original name was Perez.

The ethnic origins of the Mestizo peoples of Northern Alabama and Northern Georgia will have to remain in the realm of speculation, until there is comprehensive genetic study on the scale of those being done in the British Isles and Scandinavia to determine ethnic history.   My guess is, however, that the geneticists will find a much higher percentage of ancestry from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and Middle East among these “Native American descendants” than anyone has ever thought possible.

Postscript: Mother of William McIntosh had a Jewish name

WilliamMcIntoshThe old photo above is of the original William McIntosh House on the Chattahoochee River in Carroll County, GA.  His grave is in the right foreground.  McIntosh was executed at this house in 1825 for violating the law that he himself earlier proposed to the National Council . . . No individual could sell Creek land to whites, without permission of the National Council.

Quite a few POOF readers in Oklahoma can trace their ancestry to Mikko William McIntosh.   In Anglicized history, his mother was known as Senoia.

Senoia, GA is now a major center of the movie and TV industry.  “The Walking Dead” is filmed there, among many other hit TV shows and blockbuster movies.

In 2015, at the request of some folks in Coweta County, where the town of Senoia is located, the Apalache Foundation investigated exactly who was Senoia?  No one could figure out what her name meant and what it’s origin was.

It turns out Senoia was the grand-daughter of Emperor Brim, the first High King of the Koweta-Creek Confederacy.  Her father was a Jewish trader, who operated a trading post, where the city of Senoia sits today.   In fact, the stone building still seems to be standing.  It was definitely a trading post during the early 1800s.   The building is currently for sale.

The Apalache Foundation have identified several extremely old stone buildings in the old Creek Confederacy that are definitely or probably Indian trading posts.  All were laid with clay mortar, which makes them very, very old.

Here is where it gets interesting.  Her real name was Senoy.  That is definitely not a Creek name.  A lot more research brought a big surprise.   Senoy is the name of an angel mentioned the Talmud.  Traditionally,  this angel’s name was inscribed on Jewish baby cradles, because he/she was traditionally the protector of children. Apparently, someone asked what the Jewish letters meant and then gave them to the baby girl as a name.

It is quite possible that Senoy’s mother was part Jewish.  How else can one explain a Talmudic angel’s name, being carved on a royal Creek baby’s cradle?

There is obviously much that we don’t know about the history of the Creeks prior to the Colony of Georgia being founded.

For more information on Southeastern Native Americans with Jewish heritage go to Native-Jewish Heritage.

Will the real potsherd please stand up

During the first few years after returning to Georgia from Virginia, I lived a 10 minutes walk from Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark. None of the archaeologists knew (or hated) me then.   The Etowah Museum sponsored a show and tell day in which the public could bring artifacts and a team of professional archaeologists would show off their knowledge by labeling them with the correct location, date and style.

As a practical joke, I brought some shell tempered, Maya Commoner Redware from the suburbs of Palenque in Chiapas State, Mexico.  I told the archaeologists that I found them in a box, when I moved into the townhouse.  Well, I did!  The box was with the other boxes the movers left and was labeled “Palenque.”   Little did I know what significance, the word, Palenque, would have in 2012.

To be fair,  Maya Commoner pottery was virtually identical to that found around the Ocmulgee Acropolis and proto-Creek redware found almost everywhere, but local yokel archaeologists don’t seem to know that.  Palenque was abandoned around 800 AD due to a massive volcanic eruption.

Well, this is how the archaeologists labeled the potsherds:

  1.  Ocmulgee, shell-tempered  Plain Redware (about 900 AD to 1150 AD).
  2.   Etowah, shell-tempered Plain Redware (about 1250 AD to 1375 AD)

A third, older archaeologist was watching from the sidelines, but not involved with identifying the artifacts.  He said that it was Cherokee Redware from the Coosawattee River and dated from about 1600 AD to 1700 AD.  Cherokee????

A feller jest can’t get no respect!   :roll:

The Forgotten History of New Jerusalem

The period between Spring Equinox of 2012 until Posketa of 2014 was a time of many revelations. The Track Rock Gap controversy was the spark that ignited this explosion of knowledge, but ironically, most of the wisdom gained was about the hinterlands of the Southeast during the late 1500s and 1600s.

University textbooks told us that there were no eyewitness accounts of that period and that none would be found. They were wrong. We learned that many people from the Old World had come to this land before the founding of Charleston, but their memory long ago had been erased by British and American scholars.

The concept of a Heavenly Jerusalem to replace the one destroyed by the Babylonians first appeared in the Books of Ezra and Baruch, written during the time of the Maccabees. After the Diaspora that followed the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, the concept of a “Jerusalem on a High Place” became interpreted as a city on a mountaintop.

Even today, there is a vague memory in Judaism of a time in the past when many Children of Israel fled the demonic sadism of the Inquisition to start new lives in a New World within a mountainous land of dense vegetation, waterfalls and fertile soil. They called their adopted land, New Jerusalem. We call it Apalache.

The last section of this story is going to blow your mind!

What in the heck?

It was September of 2012. I was cutting firewood in the wooded area between my cabin and the road. Five $80,000+ sports cars drove by slowly . . .  flying Israeli flags. The men driving them had frozen smiles on their faces. They were trying so hard to see the cabin through the trees that they didn’t see me. I thought perhaps that they were lost. When I saw the sports cars turn around down the road a bit, I moved my tasks of splitting fire logs to the road right-of-way, in case they needed help.

I stood up, forgetfully still holding the axe, to face the cars and smiled. I wanted to let them know that I was friendly and would give them directions to Waters Chapel, a popular location for weddings, driving to which city folks invariably get lost.

Instead, the frozen smiles on the two men in the first car turned to looks of absolute terror, when they saw the axe. The driver burned rubber to get out of there. The other cars followed suit. All the cars had bumper stickers on the rear, announcing “IDF Veteran.”            (IDF = Israeli Defense Forces)

At the highway intersection about 150 yards away, there was almost a terrible accident. The sports cars didn’t stop and were barely missed by oncoming traffic. What in the heck was that all about?

The following month, an editorial appeared in the Journal of the American Institute of Archaeology. It was written by Dr Ramon Sarró, an ethnologist, who specializes in West African cultures at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. It was supposed to be about the Track Rock Gap controversy, but dwelt on how his friend, Johannes Loubser, was being persecuted by racist, Southern rednecks. Among other things the article described me as “nothing but an ignorant peon.

This guy obviously doesn’t know me, plus anything about either the Creek’s or Maya’s cultural history. However, what in the heck does “the Mayas in Georgia” have to do with Southern Rednecks . . . which obviously I am not?

I looked up the name Sarró and learned that it was a Jewish Sephardic name, originally a very prominent family in Spain and Portugal. What does that have to do with Track Rock Gap?

Loubser was employed by the US Forest Service in Gainesville, GA. At least three of its employees were members of the Patriots, which is a neo-Nazi, white supremacist group, classified by the FBI as a domestic terrorist organization.  The Patriots operate a training ground next to Track Rock Gap.

The Master of Life works in mysterious ways. In early 2013 I sent a photocopy of Dr. Sarró’s nasty editorial, my bio and a request for assistance in finding the Lost Creek Migration Legend directly to His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. It is quite possible that “a British professor behaving badly” influenced HRH’s staff at Clarence House to provide us the key research, which enabled the discovery of the lost documents.

On the day before the December 21, 2012 premier of “America Unearthed” both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Gainesville, GA Times ran feature articles on a “speech” that South African archaeologist, Johannes Loubser, had given to three employees of the Eastern Band of Cherokees from North Carolina and two employees of the Muscogee-Creek Nation from Oklahoma.

The articles described them as important tribal officials, but that, they were not. They were just rank and file bureaucrats. In fact, the Muscogee-Creek National Council didn’t even know that they were in Georgia, merely to trash a show on the History Channel.

Well, normally such non-news would have never even made it into the newspapers. Meanwhile, the premier of an internationally broadcast History Channel program that was filmed at several tourist attractions in Georgia and Mexico was not mentioned by any newspaper or TV station in Georgia – except the Spanish language ones. But in downtown Mexico City, they watched “America Unearthed” on an IMAX screen.

According to the newspapers, Loubser described me to the assembled guests as “one of those white racists, whose always trying to change your history. He is telling people that the Mayas came here and built your mounds.”

Say what? These out-of-state visitors had never been at Track Rock Gap before. It is highly doubtful that any of their ancestors ever even saw the North Georgia Mountains. This is my homeland. My ancestors are buried in the mounds here.

Transportation was furnished by the American taxpayers the day after the speech so that the tribal employees could see Track Rock Gap. However, both the federal and tribal bureaucrats were too obese to climb up to actually see the ruins. They had their photo made in front of the USFS sign in the parking lot and then raced off to Gainesville to eat lunch before the all-you-can-eat buffet line closed down.

George Orwell was truly a prophet. However, his “1984” didn’t arrive until after 2001.

The revelation of New Jerusalem

If you walk the Spiritual Path, the Master of Life and grandparent spirits (angels) will guide you. That certainly was the case in the discovery of New Jerusalem.

A little research revealed that Johannes Loubser was a specialist in African Rock Art, who had fled South Africa immediately after the racist Apartheid regime collapsed. Talking about the pot calling the kettle white!  Loubser is a Dutch Jewish name. That would explain all the caca about me being anti-Semitic.  The irony of Loubser’s ethnic origin could soon become unimaginably ironic.

Actually, two of the dearest friends in my life have been Harry and Lillie Lerner. Lillie was one of the few Hungarian Jews, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Afterward, she wrote that beautiful book, The Silence. Harry escaped the Hungarian Army the night before Nazi SS troopers machine gunned all the Jews in his regiment. For the remainder of the war, he was a partisan fighter – a true hero. It is indeed 1984 in America.

LiubeInscription
Drawing , made in 2000, of one of Track Rock Boulders by Stratum Unlimited, LLC for US Forest Service.

It was odd that in 2000, Loubser had transcribed the letters “Liube 1715” from the Track Rock Petroglyphs to his drawings, without realizing their significance. Liube (beloved) was a name that Eastern European rabbi’s gave their first daughter. The date, 1715, was the year that hundreds of Europeans were butchered in the interior of the Southeast. What was a rabbi’s daughter doing deep within the Georgia Mountains – 200 miles from the nearest white settlement – during such a massacre?

I thought that was the end of the story, until Jewish folks in Dahlonega and the Atlanta area began contacting me in early 2013. They were all in their 20s and 30s . . . former residents of the New York City area, who had moved to North Georgia after 9/11.

During the fall of 2012, they had been approached by unspecified persons and told that I was a “dangerous anti-Semitic KKK thug, who was planning terrorist acts against Jewish synagogues.” They were asked to set me up to appear to commit various crimes so that I could be put behind bars, where I belonged. They were promised “business opportunities” and “stock tips,” if they succeeded.

These were truly decent, intelligent people, who quickly realized who the real bad guys were.  They wanted to warn me of what was going on. Some of them became my friends.

My new friends told me an intriguing story about New Jerusalem. The concept of a New Jerusalem in the Americas, where all Jewish people could live in peace, began among Sephardic Jews, who fled from Spain and Portugal to Protestant areas of France and to Protestant Holland. This was in the late 1500s and 1600s.

A famous Sephardic Jewish intellectual in Amsterdam, named Baruch Spinoza, had in particular promoted the idea of all Jews moving en masse to somewhere in the Americas to create a nation of their own. The dream continued into the 20th century to become Zionism and resulted in the creation of Israel in 1948. However, there were indeed several attempts by Dutch Jews to colonize the New World much earlier.

Spinoza very quickly caused the ire of conservative rabbis because he questioned the authenticity of several sections of the Torah then being used in worship services. Jewish religious authorities issued a cherem (a kind of ban, shunning, ostracism, expulsion, or excommunication) against him, effectively excluding him from Jewish society at age 23. His books were also later put on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books. He was buried in a Protestant Christian cemetery in the Netherlands.

Today,  Spinoza is considered the “Father of the Enlightenment Period.” A Broadway play about Baruch Spinoza, called “New Jerusalem,” has been drawing large audiences in North America and Europe for several years.

After 9/11 several charismatic Jewish intellectuals in the Northeast became convinced that the Apocalypse was beginning. Muslim terrorism and fascist governments would make life unbearable for righteous Jews in Europe and the United States. They came across books written in Hebrew by Dutch Jews, which described a Jewish colony in the Appalachians.

According to these old books, colonization was initiated by Jewish Dutch traders, based in New Amsterdam (New York), who established trade relations with a string of Native American provinces along the Great Appalachian Valley between the Shenandoah Valley and Georgia.  Apparently, English colonists on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the coast were completely unaware of their trading activities.

Eventually, the New Temple would be built at the latitude of Jerusalem near present day Macon, GA, but at the time, the hated Spanish were too close –  in Florida. The Dutch explorers believed that a cluster of ancient, large mounds at what is now Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon was where the Lost Tribes of Israel once lived. They planned to build the New Temple on a small mountain just south.  That location had to be Brown’s Mount.

Browns Mount is located about 6 miles south of Ocmulgee National Monument.
Browns Mount is located about 6 miles south of Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon.

In the meantime, the Sephardic refugees would establish colonies at the latitude of Galilee and Lebanon, the Southern Appalachians. A great and wise king ruled most of the Southeast’s interior. He allowed the Sephardic Jews to settle certain valleys, which were under-populated. There were few conflicts between the new settlers and the indigenous people because their religions were so similar.

My new friends had no explanation as to what happened to the Sephardic colonists or why they are not mentioned in any books other than those written in Hebrew. They said that they thought several hundred Jewish young people had moved south to the Atlanta Area from Northeast to create a New Jerusalem.

They had originally planned to buy a large tract of land for a communal village and farm. Because of marriages, children, divorces and careers, many had lost contact with each other. A few couples and individuals had already moved to the Dahlonega area and were commuting back to Metro Atlanta or teaching at the University of North Georgia. Some couples had bought land near Dahlonega and were camping there on weekends. Deer had eaten up most of the vegetables in their gardens on week days. Many more had formed tight friendships within Inner City neighborhoods.

I told them that I believed them. There were several accounts of ruins of European villages, dating from the 16th or 17th century, made by settlers in the Georgia Mountains. However, Georgia archaeologists refused to look for these sites.

1615-SephardicLovers

The only absolute proof that I had seen of a Sephardic presence in the Appalachians was an inscription 5,400 feet up in the Great Smoky Mountains. In the Ladino (Sephardic Castilian) language, it announced a wedding on September 15, 1615.

On the other hand, I had never, ever read an account of Dutch traders traveling as far south as Georgia or seen any evidence of a Dutch-speaking presence in the Southeast. Perhaps the Dutch authors had exaggerated a bit in order to persuade Sephardim to emigrate?

A few months later, Marilyn Rae joined POOF’s research. She had an exceptional background in Renaissance Spanish history and the Iberian languages, plus her former husband was a Sephardic Jew. Fortunately, they were still on good terms.

When Marilyn and I pooled our knowledge, we began turning the history books upside down. We found many more eyewitness accounts of Spanish-speaking Jewish villages in the Southern Appalachians. We found eyewitness accounts of Dutch ships dropping off colonists at the mouths of the Savannah and Pee Dee Rivers. Apparently, friendly Apalache warriors escorted the colonists to settlements in the Southern Appalachians.

Then our attention shifted to Northeast Metro Atlanta, where there are many ancient stone ruins. A particularly enigmatic site near Atlanta was the Nodoroc. It is a dormant mud volcano, surrounded by a swamp, in Barrow County.  A people, who lived there before the Creeks, used it for human sacrifice. The Creeks used the site for execution of particularly evil people . . . like the Creek mother, who ate three of her own children.

Early settlers said that Nodoroc was a Creek word. Recent reports, written by academicians, said it was “a Cherokee word, whose meaning is unknown.” It was neither.

One day, Marilyn called me on the phone. “Hey Richard I have finally got the meaning of Nodoroc. It is from two Dutch words, meaning ‘swamp smoking’.”

And now you know.

A National Alliance of Muskogean Scholars and their Friends

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