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2012 Annual Report

What began six years ago as a casual internet relationship between 18 professors and professionals of Native American descent has now turned the history books upside-down. No matter how many times our researchers are called by some archaeologists, jerks, quacks, nutcases, wackos or peons, who come up with ideas “out of thin air,” the fact is that when college students around the nation return to classes later this week, the rules have changed. Do you realize that even though American Unearthed was broadcast on the Mexican version of the History Channel, people in Mexico City bought tickets to watch the show, streamed in to a downtown movie theater?

Perhaps the funniest story that came out of 2012 was the class assignment given some graduate level anthropology students at a major Southeastern university. Even though the professor had never read my book, Itsapa, the Itza Mayas in North America, he divided up the chapters among student teams, who were supposed to come up with detailed refutations of the contents for a post-December 21st press release . . . that never occurred. Let it suffice to say that over 2/3 of that class became subscribers to the People of One Fire newsletters. The other third think that I am a modern day Attila the Hun, who has heartlessly destroyed civilization as they knew it.

The People of One Fire has changed radically this year. At the beginning of 2012 most of you probably didn’t know that we maintained a web site for researchers and students. How things have changed. Judy White, our webmaster, informed me last week that we had over 300 visitors in one hour to this website. Its archives are growing rapidly. We welcome research papers and descriptions of experiments from all members, regardless of age or education, as long as you meet our research standards.

Many of the anthropology and history professors from the Southeastern United States have unsubscribed from our emailing list during the past six months, but in December we gained 38 anthropologists or archaeologists from other parts of North America, Latin America and Europe. All of our archaeology STUDENTS in the Southeast continued to subscribe. During 2012 we gained 114 subscribers of Native American descent.

Something else has happened that may force the People of One Fire to become more “organized” if we are to take advantage of an opportunity. I have been contacted by several philanthropic individuals and businesses who want to encourage the brightest archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and historic preservation architects by financing their research via the People of One Fire. Currently, our alliance is not structured in a form that could administer such projects, nor are we certified as a non-profit organization for tax deductions.

Perhaps it is time that we elect officers and committee chairpersons. A more practical means for handling targeted donations and administering research projects would be the creation of an allied non-profit foundation with its own officers and fiscal controls. Some serious thought must go into this endeavor, if we enter it. There will be a need for at least one employee (or more) for the foundation.

Professional Standards

Personally, I am extremely proud of all of you for the dignified manner in which you handled the “Mayas in North America” controversy. Hundreds of letters to the editors of newspapers or comments to professional journals and internet articles were written by Native Americans in POOF. Everyone of them, at least, that I read, was written in a mature, logical manner. In response to pre-adolescent character assassinations written by people, who claimed to be professionals, you responded calmly with the facts. The American public saw bureaucrats and people claiming to be professionals, behaving like spoiled brats in a middle school, while Muskogean Native Americans living in the Southeast presented their information in a mature, intelligent manner. The American public overwhelmingly believed the Southeastern Muskogeans.

A good example of what went on can be found in an article in a professional archaeological web site that was a review of Gary Daniels research into the similarity of Chihuahua pots in northwestern Mexico and the Southeast. A person, who emphasized that he was a “professional” archaeologist, wrote the following comment:

“Who is this guy Daniels? From what I can tell, he isn’t qualified to be a dog catcher, much less, to evaluate Mesoamerican art pertaining to canines. This jerk needs to get back to writing about fly saucers, or whatever else he and his kind have delusions about.”

A graduate student in Anthropology, verbally confronted this sarcasm. She has been a POOF subscriber since high school. She described a much longer list than Gary provided of the locations where dog effigy pots have been found in the Southeast and northern Mexico. She then listed their many similarities. She made no comments concerning the “professional” archaeologist’s qualifications or personal character.

Major research achievements in 2012

From its beginning, an objective of People of One Fire has been to practice scientific, systematic research into the history of the Southeastern Native American peoples. Far too much of the so-called “body of knowledge” about these advanced, indigenous ethnic groups was based on pure speculation made in a vacuum of virtual ignorance of their languages, cultural practices and actual history. This intellectual chasm was deepened by a propensity to manipulate Native American history to obtain political or economic objectives. The political adulteration of the Southeast’s history still goes on; as evidenced by the events in Gainesville & Athens, GA during the third week in December 2012.

The presence of Pre-Columbian Irish colonists in the Southeast

With the very kind help of the Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland and their new consulate in Atlanta, we were able to confirm the Irish cultural traits of the Province of Duhare on the South Carolina coast. For the past 500 years all scholars, including the famous ethnologist, John Swanton, have ignored Spanish accounts of a Gaelic province on the coast South Carolina named Duhare. The archives said that the pottery made by these people was identical to that of their indigenous neighbors, but they also practiced many traditions typical of northern Europe . . . which included making cheese from deer milk. The scholars discounted the archives because everyone knew for a fact that there was no such thing as a dairy deer.

Guess what? Several tribes in Ireland and Scotland raised dairy deer. That fact is no harder to believe than the fact that the Sammi (Lapps) developed dairy reindeer. The milking of these domesticated animals only died out after the Normans introduced dairy cattle to Ireland in the 1200s AD. Irish historians determined that all Duhare words recorded by the Spanish were Early Medieval Irish Gaelic, dating from around 900 AD to 1250 AD. Duhare was the word for “Irish” during that period.

Principal chief Don Green of the Appalachian Shawnee Tribe has continued that line of research for certain tribes in North Carolina. They also showed strong cultural links to Ireland. The famous “Native American” site on the campus of Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC is identical to how the Spanish described Durhare villages.

Maya Blue and Attapulgite

In March of 2012, Indianan Jon Haskell postulated a connection between the mines at the Creek town of Attapulgus, GA and the attapulgite used by the Mayas to make their Maya Blue and other intense colors. Jon is a member of the Appalachian Shawnee Tribe. In the climax of the premier of Unearthing America, a University of Minnesota laboratory identified a 100% probability of the Maya Blue obtained from a temple at the Itza Maya city of Palenque was made from Georgia attapulgite. Forensic geologist, Scott Wolter, is now writing a professional paper which describes in detail his experiments into the question.

European Contacts with Southern Highland Tribes

Systematic analysis of the Migration Legend of the Creek People, 16th century French and Spanish archives have found numerous passages that confirm direct contact between early European settlers and advanced indigenous cultures in the Georgia Mountains. Kashita-Creek, Cherokee and Spanish archives describe the capital of this province as being a “city” on the side of Georgia’s largest mountain, Brasstown Bald. The Spanish called this city, “Grande Copal.” Natives in northern Florida called the city, Yupaha. They called its province, Apalache. The Kashita Creeks called this city, Miramel, and claimed to have destroyed it. The Migration Legend locates the Apalache south of the province of Miramel, in the vicinity of the Dahlonega Gold Fields. Cherokee tradition has no name for the city, but in their tradition, it was the capital of the Creeks, and they were the ones who destroyed it.

Taino-Arawak Immigration into the Southeast

In early 2011 anthropologists at the Universidad de Puerto Rico confirmed that the images on the Sweetwater Stela, found a hundred years ago at a hilltop shrine overlooking the Chattahoochee River in Metropolitan Atlanta, were identical to stelae and petroglyphs found near the city of Arecibo in the former Taino province of Toa. In the spring of 1540, the de Soto Expedition visited a town named Toa on the Ocmulgee River in south-central Georgia. Its province was known as Toasi. Known to English speakers as Towasee, that province eventually moved to Alabama, where it joined the Creek Confederacy.

In 2012, both Gary Daniels and I have identified Arawak place names in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. There were three Cherokee towns in the 1700s that had names which cannot be translated with either Cherokee or Creek dictionaries. They all end with the suffix “koa,” which is the Arawak word for “people or ethnic group.” De Laundonniére also mentioned an ethnic group living on the Ocmulgee River named the “Maya-koa” by native peoples living on the Georgia coast.

We have also indentified a Tawasee glossary from the mid-1700s. The words are a mixture of Taino and Muskogee. There is no doubt that among the many ethnic groups, who formed the Creek Confederacy and Cherokee Alliance, there were Taino Arawaks.

South American Immigration into the Southeast

Most of the indigenous words recorded by the chronicle of the Juan Pardo Expeditions can be translated by either Itzate-Creek or Itza Maya dictionaries. Some cannot. Many of the indigenous words recorded by the memoir of René de Laundonniére (Captain of Fort Caroline) can only be translated with either a Tupi-Guarani, Quechua or Arawak dictionary. A few of the words that he recorded can be translated by either an Itza Maya or Totonac dictionary. He did not record any Muskogean words. He also mentioned that the native peoples around Port Royal Sound, SC worshiped the South American sun god, Toyah.

An interesting letter in de Laundonniére’s Trois Voyages described large fields of the chichon plant being cultivated by the Alekmani along the Altamaha River. These were the real neighbors of Fort Caroline. The Tamacoa (Timucua in Spanish) were enemies of the Alekmani, despite what is written in a legion of books and tourist pamphlets – even those published by the National Park Service.

Quinine is made from chichon bark. De Laundonniére stated that the Alekmani were known as skilled physicians and their capital was Alachua. There is an interesting connection to the Creeks. During the 1700s, there was a Creek town on the Altamaha River in Wayne County, GA named Alachua. In the 1700s, the Creek word for a medical doctor was “alek.” In the 1800s, that Creek town became known as Doctortown. There is also an Aleck Mountain in Habersham County, GA that supposedly “was named after Creek chief.” Evidently, the Alekmani did become extinct. They became one of the many ethnic branches of the Creek Confederacy.

This linguistic information was shocking in itself, considering the orthodox interpretation of the Southeast’s history. Then the DNA tests for the American Unearthed study started coming in. People of Towns County, GA, who considered themselves Cherokees, or even were members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, discovered that their “Asiatic” DNA was nothing like that of Cherokees in North Carolina. In fact, 100% of the Asiatic DNA in some samples was Quechua . . . from the Andes of South America. Others were mixed Quechua, Maya and Muskogean.

Samples of Creek DNA were equally surprising. Maya DNA composed approximately 7-12% of the Asiatic DNA among Georgia and South Carolina Creeks (substantially less among Alabama and Oklahoma Creeks) but many Creek genetic samples originating from Georgia Creek towns, also carried significant levels of Tupi-Guarani DNA. Tupi-Guarani dialects can be found over much of South America, east of the Andes. Initially, all that we can discern is that Creeks, who were descended from Mayas or South Americans, were far less likely to have moved to Alabama, and then been deported to Oklahoma.

The linguistic and genetic evidence of South American immigration that was uncovered in 2012 is so alien to currently accepted descriptions of Pre-Columbian history, we have not even speculated an explanation. What in the world was going back then? When did these people come? Why did they come?

Current Research Projects

The Creek writing system

Look at the pubic guards on figures portrayed in proto-Creek gorgeots and copperplates in Georgia, eastern Alabama, western South Carolina, western North Carolina and southeastern Tennessee. Those abstract symbols on the pubic guards are Itza Maya glyphs! In the art of E-tula (Etalwa, Etowah) one can find almost all of the glyphs Olmec writing system. Unlike the pubic guard glyphs, they cannot (at present) be translated.

We know that the Creeks had a writing system in 1735. The history of the Kashita Creeks was written on a bison calf vellum and presented to the colonial leaders of Georgia. Its translation into English required several printed pages. Unfortunately, that writing system was lost . . . replaced by the use of Roman letters.

We may never find that original bison calf vellum, but it is highly likely that at least some of the letters were copied by an artist. A very prominent person is now helping us search for both the vellum and any existing copy. His personal secretary’s letters are stamped with the British government’s equivalent of “Top Secret” so I cannot tell you any more details. I do have a very strong “Native American” feeling though that within a month or so, we will be able to present to you, the long, lost Creek writing system.

Now THAT will really turn the history books upside. Anthropologists usually limit the label “civilization” to an ethnic group that utilized a writing system. The Incas were an exception.

Archaic Itsate Language Glossary

Archaic Itsate was the language spoken by most people in the Carolinas, southeastern Tennessee and Georgia during the 1500s. Koasati was a dialect of Itsate at that time, but now is influenced by a 200 year association with the Alabama’s. I am currently putting together an alphabetized glossary of all the known Archaic Itsate words. These are being obtained from the chronicles and memoirs of 16th century European explorers.

The Southeastern Terrace Complex Culture

During the year that several members of the archaeology and anthropology professions in the Southeast were expending their energies on bashing Gary Daniels and me, the train kept on going down the tracks. We have identified six other large terrace complexes, plus at least a dozen smaller ones. All seven large complexes were in areas occupied by the Creek Indians until the 1700s. Five of the seven large complexes are on privately owned land. The four in northeastern Georgia are all on the same longitudinal line. The one in west-central Georgia is aligned with Etowah Mounds. The one in Virginia was occupied by the Tamahiti, until they moved back to Georgia in the early 1700s.

Several archaeologists in the Midwest and New England have expressed interest in collaborating with me to study terrace sites in the Southeast. I have already started working with an astro-archaeologist in Connecticut; using advanced technology in the further analysis of the Track Rock archaeological zone. He is a former Army Ranger and intelligence officer, who parlayed his military skills in satellite telemetry into a Ph.D. in anthropology. I now have GIS software, a laser measuring device and a GPS surveying device, which will enable much more precise understanding of the Track Rock archaeological zone. Using a satellite that I never even heard of, we hope to quickly solve the mystery of the compass oscillations at Track Rock.

The Maya-Southeast Connection

Gary Daniels continues to go deeper and deeper into the evidence tying together the Maya Civilization with the Southeastern United States. He is also producing books that explain specific aspects of the Maya Civilization in language that laymen can understand. His first book on the Maya calendar is now a best seller on Amazon.com and unlike my heavily illustrated books, is VERY affordable. Those interested should buy his book first before spending good money on those hippie-dippie books about the Maya calendar that smothered the publishing market during 2012. Almost all the other books are filled with malarkey about the Mayas that have nothing to do with their actual culture.

These are exciting times!
Richard Thornton, Editor

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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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