Allatoona Mountains . . . a surprising origin for the word
The Allatoona Mountains are within the Georgia Gold Belt in Cherokee, Cobb and Bartow Counties.
The Upper Etowah River flows through the Allatoona Mountains just before it reaches a broad flood plain in the Great Appalachian Valley, where Etowah Mounds is located. The Allatoona Mountains contains hundred of stone cairns, while most of the summits originally had stone circles on them. Most of the stone circles have been vandalized, but the rocks can be seen scattered immediately below on the mountain crests.
The origin of the word, Allatoona, has remained a mystery for two centuries. Neither the Creek nor the Cherokee Peoples claim the word as theirs, although local white historians typically describe the word Allatoona as “a Cherokee word of unknown meaning.” For 14 years, I have tried to translate the word, using the mathematics of statistics applied to Muskogee, Miccosukee (Itsate Creek), Panoan, Itza Maya, Cherokee and Arawak dictionaries, but to no avail.
After realizing that most of the petroglyphs in the Georgia Gold Belt can also be found at Bronze Age sites in southwest Ireland, Dundee, Scotland, southern Sweden and eastern Denmark, I broadened my linguistic research to archaic languages in Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Denmark . . . as improbable as it may have seemed. The fact is that all but two of the petroglyphs at Track Rock Gap, GA can be found among the petroglyphs at Nyköping, Sweden (c. 2000 BC). See the five Petroglyph videos on POOF’s Youtube Channel. Astonishingly, there are words in Algonquian, Uchee, Muskogee and Cherokee spoken today that have the same meaning in contemporary Irish Gaelic or in some cases, archaic dialectic words spoken in southwest Ireland and formerly on the Atlantic Coast of France.
The Alekmani Tribe was located at the mouth of the Altamaha River and in Habersham County, GA in the Upper Savannah River Basin. It became wealthy from the trade of valuable herbal medicines, such as quinine, plus gold. The commander of Fort Caroline, Captain René de Laudonnière, stated in his memoir that Alekmani meant “Medicine People.” Alek Mani in Gamla Svenska (Archaic Swedish) means “Medicine People.” Alek appears to be a Bronze Age or Sami word absorbed into Germanic Swedish, but not Germanic Danish or Norwegian. It does not appear to be a Gamla Norsk or Viking word. It is a no-brainer.
So we have a precedent of Gamla Svenska words being in the indigenous Southeast. When one plugs Alla tuna into Gamla Svenska, one gets “All the low mountains” or “All the mountaintop/hilltop fortified towns.” It appears to have been a Bronze Age name for a province that included the Upper Etowah River Basin and its surrounding mountains that was absorbed into the Muskogean languages. Allatoona does not appear to have any meaning in Muskogee or Itsate, other than being a proper noun. Other than a renegade band, led by Sour Mush that settled on Long Swamp Creek near Nelson, GA during the American Revolution, the Cherokees did not arrive in the region until the mid-1790s.
Interestingly enough, Alla tuna, would have the same meaning in Archaic Anglisk, Saxonisk and Jutesk . . . the progenitors of Anglo-Saxon English, except that the English word was ton (singular) and tona (plural). Tun/tun originally meant a small mountain or a large hill. The Scandinavian and Anglisk word for a large mountain was either berg or fjell. During the Bronze and and Iron Ages, it was common in the British Isles, southern Scandinavia and Gaul for fortified towns to be built on large hills. Thus, ton eventually came to mean any fortified town . . . and is written as town in modern English. Ton also became the last syllable of many English names, such as Thornton and Brockton.
Now you know!
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- A Comprehensive Article on the Uchee (Yuchi) People - July 23, 2019
- This man’s ancestors probably carved the original Track Rock petroglyphs - July 22, 2019
- Contact info for Track Rock Gap Archaeological Zone outparcel - July 22, 2019
- Lightning strikes thrice . . . my sister is a Finn . . . I am a Sami . . . we are all Brunswick Stew - July 20, 2019
- Eight acre tract at entrance to Track Rock Gap is still for sale - July 19, 2019