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Author: Richard Thornton

Ruins in Georgia and South Carolina

In 1873, pioneer anthropologist, Charles C. Jones, published his landmark book entitled, “Antiquities of the Southern Indians.” Jones made several intriguing statements in his book, which subsequent generations of archaeologists have often ignored. One of them was that early settlers in the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont had encountered stone retailing walls, stone monuments, walled ceremonial sites and the ruins of stone buildings throughout the region. However, read virtually any authoritative reference on the indigenous peoples of North America today and it will most likely state that unlike the peoples in Mexico and South America, the Southeastern Indians did not build out of stone.

Since late winter of 2013 volunteers in the People of One Fire have been documenting stone Pre-Columbian architecture in their communities. In addition, some retired Native American school teachers have been tediously going through all the archaeological reports they could find, to identify previously studied sites with stone architecture. It is not known if they are grading the reports for spelling and grammar! The volunteers obtain the precise latitude, longitude and altitude of the stone ruins which appear to be Pre-Columbian then take photos. The archaeological sites are not disturbed in anyway.

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Southeastern Native Americans with Jewish DNA

The substantial presence of Jewish, Middle Eastern and North African DNA in Cherokee descendants has been highly publicized, but several POOF members were also surprised to learn that they had Jewish or Middle Eastern ancestry. They wondered if they were really Cherokees rather than being Chickasaws, Creeks, Choctaws, Shawnees or Seminoles. The answer we now have is, “Probably not. There are several ways that your ancestors and Sephardic families could have intermarried.”

We are making a lot of progress in the research to explain Sephardic and Iberian ancestry among Muskogeans and Shawnees. At the beginning of the project in the spring of 2013, it seemed to be a question that might never be answered, but the answers came in the 17th and 18th Century archives. The historic evidence has been concealed, forgotten or ignored, but it is readily available on the internet and Colonial Era books. Here are the possible ways that Sephardic and Ashkanazi colonists joined your family tree.

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Who were the Yamasee?

This article includes a glossary of Native American words and the ethnic groups in the Yamasee Alliance.

There is a great amount of confusion among historians and anthropologists concerning the ethnic identity of the Yamasee People. The writings of Dr. John E. Worth provide extensive details on the Yamasee from a Spanish perspective, but Worth’s Yamasee research seldom makes it into the mainstream references. Most readers get the impression that the Yamasee were merely a branch of the Creek Indians, who became extinct after losing a war with Great Britain. Their history was much more complex than that.

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How Politicians Erased the Chickasaw from the Maps

During the period between 1660 and 1700, France covertly dispatched marines, traders and army engineers to toughly explore and map the interior of the Southeast. By 1684 they had already traversed the Tennessee and Chattahoochee Rivers to their sources. Only the French Broad River could not be canoed from the Tennessee River to its source because of Class 5 rapids and steep canyon walls near Hot Springs, NC. The maps and archives provided specific names of ethnic groups and villages in the Southern Highlands. There is no doubt of their ethnic accuracy. Apparently these maps are completely ignored today by historians, THPO’s and anthropologists. Instead they rely on a grossly inaccurate NAGPRA map adopted in 1991.

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Georgia Terrace Complex No. 7

Thought you folks, especially the archaeologists, would like to see what I am up to. I am using special spectrum satellite imagery and ERSI software to find more terrace complexes along solar azimuths associated with the Track Rock Complex or the high point of Brasstown Bald Mountain.

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Origins of the Seminole and Miccosukee Peoples

Standard references state that the Seminole and Miccosukee Peoples are descended from bands of Creeks who migrated southward into Florida from Alabama and southern Georgia after Florida’s indigenous peoples became virtually extinct. That version of history is partially true, but the story is much more complex. Many Shawnee and Yuchi moved to Florida . . . i.e. Suwannee River. Seminole historians have compelling evidence that remnant bands of indigenous Floridians, who never submitted to Spanish authority, were still living in the interior of the peninsula after the Spanish left. It was these indigenous peoples, who taught the newcomers how to adapt to a sub-tropical climate. The old-timers and newcomers intermarried to become one ethnic group.

There is something else. The ancestors of these newcomers did not originate in southern Alabama or Georgia as the references state. You will be surprised.

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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.

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

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