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Author: Richard Thornton

What does Coosa mean?

  Dear Mr. Thornton: I am a graduate anthropology student in Alabama.  I just last night discovered the People of One Fire web site.  It is incredible!    Thank you for the complements about our archaeology program in Alabama.  We think that it is one of the best in the nation and getting better! Where were you when I needed you?   🙂  This past semester I had to write a paper about a cluster of archaeological sites on the Coosa River.   I could never find out the meaning of the word, Coosa.  My professors didn’t have a clue what...

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The Secret History of Northeast Alabama

  While preparing for the upcoming feature article in the People of One Fire on the Mandan People, I thoroughly reviewed the historical archives and archaeological reports associated with Cherokee County, AL and surrounding counties.  It is located on the Coosa River immediately west of Rome, GA and contains most of Weiss Lake.  The county seat, Centre, is bounded on two sides by Weiss Lake. What I found is that during the last few decades of 20th century, many academicians, plus a legion of anonymous people associated with tourism promotion and “Cherokee” history, completely ignored the readily available resources...

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Outstanding website created by Alabama Office of Archaeological Research

  Alabama, we salute you! In 2003, the National Endowment for the Humanities issued a grant to assist the University of Alabama’s Department of Anthropology in the cataloguing of archaeological reports and artifacts.  Summaries of all known archaeological sites in the state have been placed on an outstanding website, which is organized by river basins . . .  the exact same way that our Muskogean ancestors organized their provinces.  The reader is given a summary of the site, its approximate location and any archaeological work done on the site.  At the bottom of each archaeological web page is a...

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The People of One Fire’s county agent explains the “Three Sisters Thing”

  Television has its Doctor Phil . . . POOF has its Doctor Ray . . .  Dr. Ray Burden, that is.  He has a high falluting degree from the University of Tennessee, but he also grew up eating Creek-fried river turtle, possum and sweet taters,  brunswick stew,  hush puppies, johnny cakes, corn fritters AND learned how to count numbers in Creek.  In other words, he won’t laugh at you when you say that you would like to grow your own food, using traditional Native American and Maya methods. Ray and his wife of over four decades,  Bonnie,  have...

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A Thursday morning salute to Louisiana and Linda Ronstadt

  A Miracle on the Washington Mall Because of her German last name, most people don’t know that Linda Ronstadt’s mother was mestizo. She carries a very significant level of Native American DNA.  This is why she was so beautiful as a young woman.   During the late 1980s,  Linda became tired of the deteriorating rock music scene.  She astounded everyone by reaching back to her ethnic roots and switching to being a singer of traditional Mexican and Native American music.   She went on to receive many awards for her “ethnic” music, but never was as popular with mainstream America. ...

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Agricultural scientist confirms results of experiments on biochar terraces

  Why would our ancestors commit extensive labor to build terrace complexes on the mountainsides of the Southern Appalachians and the hillsides of the Piedmont . . . but then often nearby cultivate massive fields of corn in the river bottomlands?  For example, the Track Rock Terrace Complex is in easy walking distance of several contemporary towns with mounds in the Nottely and Brasstown Creek flood plains. Another question that I had was really a “fact check.”    Virtually all American History and Anthropology books state that Native Americans “grew the three sister plants, corn, beans and squashes/pumpkins together,” because...

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New Jersey town orders Native American tribe to take down teepees

  A snobby town in New Jersey consisting of a private gated community . . . called The Polo Club . . . wrapped around a 14 acre Native American reserve,  has filed for a judgment in the State Superior Court  that will force the tribe to remove its teepees, tents and art.  The Town Manager used Orwellian double-speak to make the television viewers thinks that this is a normal power of a zoning ordinance. To see the newscast, go to: Horse Manure! What The Polo Club pseudo-municipal government has done is adopt the original design guidelines of...

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The King Site . . . a Mysterious People in the Coosa River Valley

“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past, control the future.” George Orwell in “1984″ There are some missing pages in the history of Alabama.  It is increasingly clear that the sad Creek People of the Coosa Valley, who were being marched at bayonet point in 1836 to the Indian Territory, after being promised in 1832 that they could stay in Alabama forever, if they accepted an allotment . . . were not the same indigenous people, encountered by Hernando de Soto in 1540.   There is an enigmatic archaeological site just three miles...

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Footnote: Price of drug for treating tick diseases, Bubonic Plague, anthrax, typhus, cholera and malaria has increased 667% in USA

An antibiotic, which costs 1-4 cents a pill in most nations, now costs $3.80-$4 a pill in the United States! Less you think that the outrageous price increases in the United States for snake anti-venom is an isolated situation, think again.  International pharmaceutical industries are current being sued by the United States Department of Justice and 20 states for first creating artificial shortages IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY in 2012 for several extremely effective, but formerly inexpensive drugs then jacking the prices up to exorbitant levels.  However, the specific drugs being sued about represent the tip of the iceberg....

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Stark rise in bites by poisonous snakes in Dixie

  The typical cost of a rattlesnake bite on an adult is from $125,000 to $225,000.  A rattlesnake bite on a child can run up to $2.6 million. The Southeastern Regional Poison Control Center in Atlanta announced today that so far in 2017, there has been a 50% increase in bites by poisonous snakes in the Southeastern United States over last year.  That is particularly concerning because there was a record number of poisonous snake bites here in 2016.   By far,  the biggest increase has been bites by Copperhead Snakes . . . also called Highland Moccasins.  Atlanta area...

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