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BBC Video . . . The mystery of the cocaine mummies

BBC Video . . . The mystery of the cocaine mummies


Egyptian mummies dating from the period around 1200-600 BC  have been found to contain high levels of cocaine and nicotine.   At that time, these were exclusively New World chemicals from the coca and tobacco plants respectively.   How could that be?

Since the BBC film focuses mostly on the eastern Mediterranean, POOF will tell you what else was going on in the world.

  • The Deptford Culture began in Savannah, GA around 1200-1100 BC and spread inland in all directions.  In 1653,   Apalache leaders in Northeast Georgia told Richard Briggstock that their ancestors came to North America by sea from the south. and that their first “capital” was where Savannah, GA is today.  The remnants of the first Apalache king’s mound still exists south of Downtown Savannah.   Apalache is the Hispanization of the Panoan (Peruvian) words, which mean, “From – ocean – descendants of.”


  • The Uchee leaders around Savannah told British colonial leaders in 1733 that their ancestors came by boat across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun.”   Uchee is the Anglicization of the pre-Gaelic, northwest European word for water.   Most of the petroglyphs on boulders in North Georgia are identical to Bronze Age petroglyphs in southwestern Ireland and southern Sweden.  The coca plant is indigenous to the region where the Panoans still live today.


  • A tsunami or mega-storm wiped the northern part of Denmark around 1200 BC, ending a brilliant Bronze Age civilization there.  The hybrid Basque-Asiatic peoples, living in southern Sweden were soon overrun by blond-red haired mariners, who originated from southeastern Iran. 


  • Between 1200 BC and 1177 BC,  all of the Bronze Age civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean Basin were attacked by “People from the Sea.”   Of the five major civilizations, only Egypt survived the onslaught.  

Personally,  there seems to be enough evidence to assume that there was significant contact between the Old World and New World during the Bronze Age.  However, I do know own a time machine and so will let readers be the judge on this mystery.



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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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