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An example of an archaeology professor pretending to be an anthropologist

An example of an archaeology professor pretending to be an anthropologist


The paragraphs below contain an example of the problems created by archaeologists in the Southeast, pretending to be anthropologists, in such references such as Wikipedia. Poorly researched speculations are presented as orthodox facts that cannot be challenged.  The erroneous statements are multiplied exponentially now because other references, such Encyclopedia Britannica, merely copy Wikipedia articles rather than hiring competent researchers to write original text.  First, POOF will show you a section on the “Cherokee town of Citico” in Wikipedia and then two addenda that I have repeatedly tried to insert in the article, but each time was quickly deleted by an anonymous person . . . probably a Tennessee or North Carolina archaeology professor.

My addenda used citations based on a map of La Florida, drawn by Jacques Le Moyne (resident artist at Fort Caroline), university-published dictionaries from Peru, the official Muskogee-Creek dictionary and the memoirs of Captain René de Laudonnière, Commander of Fort Caroline.   Each time, the addenda were quickly deleted by an anonymous person, who merely stated that “The statements reflected fringe beliefs of a pseudo-archaeologist, whose questionable, unscientific methodologies do not meet acceptable standards.”


Citico . . .  from Wikipedia

“On October 16, 1567, an expedition led by Spanish explorer Juan Pardo arrived at a village known as “Satapo” while en route to Coosa, a powerful chiefdom centered in modern northern Georgia. Research conducted by anthropologist Charles Hudson in the 1980s suggests that Satapo was situated at the Citico site in Monroe County, and that the two names are linguistically related. According to Hudson, the Pardo expedition left Olamico (on Zimmerman’s Island, now submerged by Douglas Lake) on October 13, and traveled southwest across the Foothills of the Great Smokies, crossing Little River at modern-day Walland and traversing Happy Valley to arrive at “Chalahume” (Chilhowee) in the Little Tennessee Valley on October 15. After the expedition made its way to Satapo the following day, a friendly native warned Pardo of a plot against him, and the expedition returned to Olamico shortly thereafter.[2]”

“Hudson speculates that when the Cherokee replaced Satapo’s Muskogeean-speaking Mississippian inhabitants, the Cherokee kept the site’s name. However, as the Cherokee language lacks bilabial stops, the “p” sound in “Satapo” was replaced with a “k” sound, giving the site its Cherokee name.”



Addendum No. 1

Juan Pardo never actually visited Coosa.  He stated his intent to do so . . .  but also specifically stated in his report to the king (Relacion de la Florida) that he decided not take the route, used by De Soto.  He was warned that some powerful tribes planned to ambush his company en route, so turned around and visited Chiaha a second time.

To date, archaeologists have not been able to prove the presence of the Juan Pardo Expedition at any Native American village site in the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina or Tennessee.  In the 1980s, a team of Southeastern university professors speculated that Juan Pardo followed the same route as de Soto, even though his report to the King of Spain (Relacion de La Florida – 1568) did not mention any towns between Cofitachequi, Chiaha and Coosa, which were listed in the De Soto Chronicles. 

The De Soto Route academic team chose Zimmerman Island, Tennessee as their proposed location for Chiaha, without any archaeological or linguistic justification.  Due to wartime expediency,  the waters of Douglas Lake covered Zimmerman Island in 1943 without any preliminary archaeological investigations.  Surviving photos of the island, maintained by the State Museum of Tennessee in Nashville only show a freshwater mussel shell midden and a small burial mound.  However, the Cherokee version of Chiaha, Cheoah, is the name of a mountain and river near the Little Tennessee River in Graham County, NC.

Addendum No. 2

Satipo is not a Muskogean word, as stated by several prominent academicians in the Southeastern United States during the late 20th century and even today. Neither “Sati” nor its root words, “sati” and “po” appear in the Muskogee-Creek Dictionary. 1   Alternative names for this Native American village site such as Citico, Citigo, Sitico, Siticoa and Stecoah are Anglicizations of its Cherokee name and also do not appear in the Muskogee-Creek dictionary.

Satipo was also the name of the capital of a powerful Native American province on the coast of Georgia near the mouth of the Satilla River. 2  Captain René de Laudonnière journeyed there several times to meet with its king, Sati-uriwa. 3  The king’s title means “Colonists – king” in the Panoan languages of Peru. 4    Since the time of the conquest of Peru by the Spanish, Satipo has been the name of a province in Peru and its capital. 5   It is quite probable that the town named Satipo in the Great Smoky Mountains was a colony of the province on the coast of Georgia, but this is not certain.

The word, Saticoa (Satikoa) first appeared on a map of South Carolina drawn by Colonel John Barwell in 1721.  This word has no meaning in the contemporary Cherokee language, but can be translated by a Southern Arawak dictionary. 6, 7  It means “Colonists – People.”

The “koa” suffix appears in several different forms among indigenous town names in Georgia, Florida, the Caribbean Basin and South America, depending on the language spoken by the author.  These versions include coa, koa, goa and gua.  René de Laudonnière used the “gua” spelling. 8


  1. Martin, Jack & Mauldin, Margaret (2000) A Dictionary of Creek/Muskogee. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  2. Le Moyne, Jacques (1565) Carte du Florida (Map of French Florida).
  3. De Laudonnière,  René (1586) L’histoire notable de la Floride, contenant les trois voyages faits en icelles par des capitaines et pilotes français.
  4. Wise, Mary Ruth (1993) Diccionario Shipibo-Castillano, Lima: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.
  5. Satipo Province, Peru (2017)
  6. Kindberg, Lee (2008) Diccionario Ashinánca, Lima: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.
  7. Cherokee Dictionary (2016) The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
  8. De Laudonnière,  René, Ibid.


Nuff Said!

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

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