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Batesville, GA Archaeological Zone LIDAR map

Batesville, GA Archaeological Zone LIDAR map

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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.



    Hey Richard, Oh what interesting features you are able to see on the LIDAR map. I would like to see one for my neck of the woods. I have been enjoying the new series of articles are WORDPRESS. Thanks always for your and others diligence and hard work gathering such Great information.


    Richard, West of the Chicken farms might be another larger Stonehenge circle? and perhaps one to the N.E of the terraced mound as well.

    • You are probably right. Smithsonian archaeologist, Cyrus Thomas, mentioned numerous stone circles and stone cairns. The problem is that we can only go on private property, when we are invited to do so by the owner. That effort was helped a great deal by a front page article on our efforts by the Northeast Georgian Newspaper last week.


    Richard, does the stone circle shown on this Lidar map have any relation to the stone circle on Alec Mountain? This is so very interesting!

    • Yes, it does. I think they are aligned. The trouble is that I have had no car since the beginning of May, so I am stuck at this house and can’t do field work. Waiting for a new engine to be installed. You don’t want to know the cost!


    That is some nice imagery… I know this cost you some money, but I would sure like to view this on my own software. This type of technology is going to be key in discovery throughout the whole region. Features will need to be back-tested as much as possible through county land records and older maps in the archives also. This is a tool that could be the breaking point between all the historical nonsense that exists. The next level would be funding proper core sampling and archeological investigations devoid of all the usual arrogance that can surface at times. Well done. LIDAR did not exist back when all the biased BS was assembled for distribution to the masses.

    • You can copy and paste the jpeg image from the article. One of POOF’s members paid for the LIDAR. However, the regional commission informed me that they will be running high resolution LIDAR this coming winter, that will be free for me.


        Hello… What I meant was the actual LIDAR file with all its attributes. The image here on the web contains no z data. How much area did this file cover? Is it Georgia Forestry that will be doing the new survey? It would be interesting to back test these features into the Colonial Plats and Warrants archives and several other places. Thank you for the reply.

        • I have the original LIDAR files for the section around Batesville, but I needed a jpeg image to publish the LIDAR. I don’t know who will be doing the flights this winter, but probably not the forestry people.


            Typically, GA DNR has funded the LIDAR projects… I am pretty sure I have Pickens county LIDAR data but have to look if you are interested. UAV’s are making it more cost effective, and keep our fingers crossed that they will get this done at 3.6cm res. All i can say is to back test VERY carefully as it is so easy to unconsciously bias ourselves when we are wanting to see something in the imagery. My perspective is that we have about 319 years of history where Europeans had time to highly impact the landscape of the region.

          • The mounds are shown on the 1810 Sturges Map of Georgia as being still the location of Soque.


            Yes I have seen that map and please know I am only commenting about bias concerns not any personal credibility issues at all. I fully understand the amount of grief and backlash a person can suffer if you stand up and disagree with the status quo. I admire what you are doing with this information.

            Ok let me speak this way to be more clear in the unclear realm of the English language. Our LIDAR, satellite, and GPS based location and feature data is a story that people making maps in 1810 could not have imagined. Projection and declination issues at the scales you are talking about convert to a margin of error that is very significant. Cartography was good but again, great care must be considered. I worded this carefully trying not offend, but to inject a healthy caution is all…

          • Not offended, but you are not involved in the project. A 140 year old house and a 120 year old general store plus 200+ year old trees sits upon a seven acre terraced mound that did even have paved road access till the 1930s. Bulldozers could not have built those terraces.


            I hear ya… I live on a site in Georgia that was terraced in about 1800, right across from an old grist mill built about 1810-1840ish, and the terraces are still clearly visible… Of course bulldozers were not used to make these terraces. My property is about an hour and 30min from where you are and you are welcome to come and see it if you like, or send you imagery. I am absolutely NOT saying you are wrong, I was only suggesting “caution”. No I’m not involved with the project but in fact am involved in imagery analysis and remote sensing from the land cover and agricultural side of things. I likely should have sent these sorts of messages in a non public format, it would have been better.

          • That’s okay. The Georgia archaeologists have always ignored Northeast and North Central Georgia. Now they have formed a Soque myth-busting in the Mountains committee and had a big article in the county newspaper today.


            Can you post a link to the article you speak of so i can read it?

          • Which article are you talking about?


            I don’t know how these postings are structured on your display, but I referred to this, ” Now they have formed a Soque myth-busting in the Mountains committee and had a big article in the county newspaper today.”…

            I wanted to see what you were talking about?

          • The article is in the Wednesday edition of the Northeast Georgian Newspaper front page. I only went to Batesville, because Archaeologist Cyrus Thomas found numerous archaeological sites and structures around the general store there. I have no way to give you a copy.

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