Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
Did American Indians Discover Ireland
The eighth episode of America Unearthed, Chamber Hunting, investigated underground chambers, oriented to the solar azimuth, in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Ireland. The last third of the program focused on theories of how the ancient Irish may have been capable of reaching North America by boat. It is plausible that Celtic Irish, fleeing domination by invading Normans, could have utilized sailing ships similar to Viking långbåt’s to reach the Atlantic Coast during the early Middle Ages. That does not explain the similarities of petroglyphs on both sides of the Atlantic during the Copper and Bronze Ages – up to 4,000 years ago.
There was an important fact left out of the program. Until around 200 BC, the majority of inhabitants of Ireland were an entirely different culture than the Celts. They were an ethnic group called the Ciarraighe (Dark-skinned People) who looked just like American Indians. Ciarraighe people still dominated several sections of Ireland until the late Middle Ages. The Ciarraighe are the probable origin of the “Black Irish.” They are also the reason that many Southeastern Indians get back DNA tests showing them to be far more Irish in ancestry than their family genealogies would suggest.
There is also substantial architectural evidence that the Ciarraighe were the aboriginal people of all of the British Isles. Dr. Gordon Freeman of the University of Alberta has proven with radiocarbon dating that the first stonehenges and megalithic chambers were in Canada and New England. There is a 500 year lapse between the first ones in North America and the earliest ones in Wales and Salisbury Plain of England. He thinks that the first phase of Stonehenge in England was built by the descendants of American Indian colonists!
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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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