Select Page

Archaeologist Arthur Kelly found Paracus-style skulls on Etowah River

Archaeologist Arthur Kelly found Paracus-style skulls on Etowah River


The discoveries have been completely erased from current anthropological literature.

Two weeks ago, People of One Fire sleuth,  Ed Reilly, sent me an intriguing newspaper clipping from a November 12, 1948 edition of the Red and Black . . . the student newspaper of the University of Georgia.  As part of a short article on the frantic efforts to complete archaeological surveys in the Upper Etowah River Basin before Lake Allatoona reached full capacity,  there was a brief mention of the skulls.  The article stated that the skulls had been deformed on the front and back in order to create an elongated shape with a squarish cross-section.   The writer added that Kelly was bringing three of the skulls back to the University of Georgia to show to faculty and students.  Apparently, the others were either given away or re-buried after field examination.   The actual archaeological site, where they were found, was not stated.

The article states that an entire community practiced head elongation.

I delayed passing on the news until I had time to examine all of my archaeological reports on the excavations at Lake Allatoona . . . nada (nothing).   Joseph Caldwell was hired by the Smithsonian Institute to carry out the survey of Lake Allatoona.   When he ran out of time, Kelly came to his assistance, but Kelly did not publish a separate report on his discoveries.  Caldwell did eventually publish his far-too-brief report on his work at Lake Allatoona.  He acknowledged Kelly’s assistance, but made no mention of deformed skulls.   He staterd that Kelly had helped with the last minute excavation of the Woodstock Village Site, which is the earliest manifestation of “Mississippian” cultural traits.   However, we have no way of knowing, if this is where Kelly was finding the Paracus-style skulls.

This Itsate Creek from Georgia (left) in 1735 looked exactly like the Itza Maya man (right).

All archaeological references that I accessed stated that the type of elongated skulls, found on the Nazca Plain of Peru did not occur in North America.  Obviously, they are wrong.   However, forehead deformation was quite common in the major mounds centers of the Pre-Columbian Southeast.  In fact, one of the Itsate Creeks from the Savannah River Basin, who was invited to London by James Oglethorpe in 1734, looks just like a Classic Period Maya.  Dr. Kelly mentioned to me this abundance of skulls with flattened foreheads, when describing his belief that Mesoamericans visited or established colonies in Georgia at the time that the first “Mississippian Culture” mounds were appearing.  I don’t recall him mentioning anything about cultural connections to Peru,  but that was a long time ago.  Maybe he mentioned the elongated skulls and it flew right over my sophomoric head?

In the 1960s,  Arthur Kelly found skulls near the Lower Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers that had been successfully operated it on.  They had square holes, which had healed.   He briefly mentioned these discoveries in his reports, but went no further.  There was no effort within his profession to link the practice of trepanation in Georgia to cultural influences or immigration from Peru.   I could not find any contemporary anthropological papers on trepanation, which even mentioned the skulls found by Kelly.   Again, as in other discoveries, it appears that the generation of archaeologists, who followed Kelly,  censured what information would be spoon-fed to students and the general public so that their theories on the peopling of the Americas, would be viewed as unquestionable facts.

Now you know!


The following two tabs change content below.
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.



    Richard, Here is an article relating to the Paracas skulls of Peru and as I had surmised most likely related to the Amorite and Hittite peoples, some of which migrated to Syria, Mesopotamia and the Black Sea area. This article seems to indicate that the Torah’s “Nephilim” were among them. The Haplogroup T2 is found along their route: Portugal, Sardinia, Southern Italy, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia. Of course, as you know some of the peoples of Peru migrated to the South East and likely also discovered the Azores… Step pyramids found along their route and elongated Skulls.
    What is interesting is only one University in Canada has made any statements about the very tall skeletons found on the Eastern side of that country but as far as our universities: nothing yet.
    I now believe there has been very little work done on dating bronze age artifacts…but massive copper mining began 5000 BC in this country and no good data about when the bronze age began in Peru, Mexico or the South East. A sea fairing trade network of Bronze age peoples that lived in Cuba in the winter time and traveled to mining locations as far as Peru (tin) and Minnesota (Copper) could be one choice. The connecting symbol of the city of Tarshish, Spain and Caral, Peru also used by the Nobles of the Maya and Toltecs.


    Hey Richard
    Great article. I have always wondered why people did radical things like this to their bodies. In the case if skull deformation I think it is religious in nature. The indians in Peru have been doing thing to their skulls for a long time. The link below is to an article on trepanition amoung the Inca. They got very good at brain surgery over the centuries

    I think one of the biggest reasons the
    Inca were good at trepination was the type of weapons and martial arts they used. Clubs, bolos , and slings are blunt force weapons that cause depressive fractures and their healers saw a lot of them im sure.

    Its great your color slides survived the “oven” they were in. I hope you will share them with all your readers

    • Hey Wayne, there are active water seepages in the facade of the house. I will be able to start digitizing the thousands of slides as soon as the repairs are completed.


    Interesting article on health of deformed skulls in Peru:

    And on those of the Carson Mounds:

    The earliest accounts of cranial deformation among homo sapiens are Ur (proto-Sumeria) and Kow Swamp in Australia. It’s still found in Micronesia, Polynesia, New Guinea, and Australia. A Silla culture Korean noble woman had the condition naturally:
    It was also practiced on some islands of Japan.

    Japanese, PNGers, Micronesians Surui Native Americans, and some Australians have DNA from a ghost population of humans that lived in the pacific. They also have the highest percentages of the Chroimosome 11 insert that resembled Mungo Man’s extinct DNA. Mungo Man was 6’5 and possibly a woman, since the skeleton is more gracile than any male of the paleolithic.

    These groups also have “Mystery Hominid” DNA, which is around 400,000 years old.
    Kow Swamp, Keilor (Australia), and Wadjak Man (Sumatra) all have traits that associate them with Rhodesian Man, who had populations with males averaging 7 foot tall.

    E.P. Grondine claims they also used a form of trepanation to extract the pineal and/or pituatary glands of slaves in order to feed them to their adolescent warriors. It was thought to make them grow even taller and give them the warriors instinct. According to Grondine, they are best exemplified by the “Anaste” Native Americans who were not well-liked by other tribes.
    (Man and His Impact on the Americas).


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to POOF via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 843 other subscribers

The Information World is changing!

People of One Fire needs your help to evolve with it.

We are now celebrating the 11th year of the People of One Fire. In that time, we have seen a radical change in the way people receive information. The magazine industry has almost died. Printed newspapers are on life support. Ezines, such as POOF, replaced printed books as the primary means to present new knowledge. Now the media is shifting to videos, animated films of ancient towns, Youtube and three dimensional holograph images.

During the past six years, a privately owned business has generously subsidized my research as I virtually traveled along the coast lines and rivers of the Southeast. That will end in December 2017. I desperately need to find a means to keep our research self-supporting with advertising from a broader range of viewers. Creation of animated architectural history films for POOF and a People of One Fire Youtube Channel appears to be the way. To do this I will need to acquire state-of-art software and video hardware, which I can not afford with my very limited income. Several of you know personally that I live a very modest lifestyle. If you can help with this endeavor, it will be greatly appreciated.

Support Us!

Richard Thornton . . . the truth is out there somewhere!

Pin It on Pinterest