Richard Thornton | Jun 3, 2017 | 15
Discernment of Native American Artifacts
Discernment of Native American artifacts in a feudal America
A single potsherd may not tell the true history of a Native American people.
This lengthy narrative is both funny and a disturbing witness to our times . . . a special gift on the nation’s birthday.
During the late 20th century, many archaeologists in the Southwestern and Eastern United States became obsessed with the classification of potsherds. They convinced themselves that by assigning an English (or Spanish) name along with a time period to a fragment of fired clay that they knew everything there was to know about the people, who made the pottery. They neglected linguistics, architecture, site planning, genetics and botany. Oh, they also didn’t bother to talk to the descendants of those people, who made the pottery.
Simplistic “models” of North America’s indigenous societies, based on this incomplete information, were created for presentation to professional conferences, which mirrored their own simplistic, Eurocentric prejudices. Invariably, anthropologists in the Southeast equated the federally recognized tribes of the late 20th century to the indigenous provinces of the region that existed prior to 95% of population being wiped out by European diseases, slave raids, malnutrition, military actions and cultural disruption.
Well, in Florida they couldn’t even do that, because Europeans had managed to make Florida’s indigenous peoples pretty much extinct by 1710. Florida anthropologists adopted the Spanish administrative district labels of Guale, Timucua and Apalachee to fabricate great tribes that never existed. No Native people called their province Guale or Timucua until their new Spanish masters told them that was their name.
The Florida Apalachee began as colonists from the real Apalache in northern Georgia, but did not call themselves by that name. They did have a town named Apalache, however. Charles de Rochefort wrote in 1658 that they called themselves, Tvla-hvlwe-se, which in my ancestral Isate-Creek language means, “towns from the Highlands.” You know the word as Tallahassee.
When I was 24 and recently returned from the fellowship in Mexico, I was asked to speak to the Atlanta Archaeological Society, which at that time was composed primarily of anthropologists, historians and architects. I asked a series of questions at the opening of the lecture. Not ONE professor had ever been in a romantic relationship with a Native American or even had them over for dinner in their home. Some archaeologists claimed that Native American women had cooked their meals while on digs in Central America or the Southwest.
There is another serious problem with the current practice of the anthropology profession in the United States that I did not observe in either Mexico or Scandinavia. It is extrapolation without a statistically valid body of evidence. My favorite example was a paper written by a highly respected Midwestern university professor on the population of Etowah Mounds . . . the town whose real name was E-tula. That’s Itsa Maya, by the way. He was trying to prove that Etowah was insignificant when compared to Cahokia.
The professor used a fellow academician’s paper that listed all the current mounds in Bartow County, GA, where Etowah Mounds National Landmark is located. Over half of the mounds at Etowah Mounds have been destroyed. About 80% of the mounds in the county have been destroyed. The conurbation of E-tula extended into three other counties. However, the anthropology professor calculated the population of Etowah’s province based on the mounds that were still visible in Bartow County alone. Those county lines did not exist in 1250 AD. He underestimated the population of E-tula’s province by at least 400%. Duh—h-h-h.
The problems with artifacts
First, we look at the realities of ceramics. Styles of pottery are just that. People of very different ethnic backgrounds can make the same style of pottery. Most pottery was made by women, while most statuary was made by men. Women, who came into a community as a bride might introduce ceramic innovations into her new community. Women might copy the fine ceramics introduced to a community by traders. Women brought into a community as juvenile war captives might introduce imperfect interpretations of the pottery that they saw their mothers make.
Bands of male invaders might obtain ALL of their women through warfare. Foreign traders might obtain additional wives in various towns they traded with. Thus, for several generations the new communities created by these immigrants might represent the influence of the homeland, plus several provinces, before “typical” ceramic styles evolved. Whatever the case, the males were originally an entirely different ethnic origin than the females.
The only ceramic evidence so far of the undeniable Itza Maya genetic and linguistic presence in the Southeast is Plain Redware. Maya commoners and slaves created this utilitarian pottery by coating a shell-tempered gray clay core with an iron oxide rich clay slip. The concept of the Redware was a pottery that was easy to mass-produce and required minimal firewood to be vitrified. It suddenly appeared in Georgia at the same time that such towns as Ocmulgee (Waka) and Track Rock terraces (Copal) appeared. Redware potsherds are endemic in the suburbs of Maya cities, but Gringo archaeologists, so far, have not gotten the connection.
Thus, the only certain scientific evidence that can be obtained from an isolated potsherd found in a farmer’s field is via x-ray diffraction equipment. With this methodology, the geologist can tell us where the clay came from that was used to make the potsherd.
Discernment of stone artifacts is much more complex. There are folks out there, who have become masters at creating fake copies of stone statuary and flint artifacts. While there is no financial incentive to making a fake potsherd and little to be gained from a fake ceramic figurine, people have been duped into spending thousands of dollars on fake stone artifacts.
Even if a stone artifact is real, it may have been transported long distances through ancient trade networks or much more recently on a Delta Airlines flight from Mexico City to Atlanta. Analysis of stone art requires sophisticated and expensive work by forensic geologists. One cannot jump to making those dangerous extrapolations just because you have a stone figurine in your hand.
This is our current situation with the amazing discoveries being made by POOF members in northeast Georgia. Some absolutely amazing stone art has been discovered on the surface and in the waters of the main Apalache towns in Metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia. Some of these towns stretch across the landscape for one to two miles. They include a cache of jade pendants and figurines . . . yes, jade. That has been confirmed by a geologist.
We have in our possession the largest known Native American stone sculpture, north of Mexico. It dwarfs the famous Etowah marble statues. It was owned and protected by a Native American family for over two centuries. If several of these stone works are art are real, the history books will be turned upside down. However, I am suspicious of some of the pieces, especially the stone spear points. I will explain why in the next section.
We are currently in conversation with the Geoscience and Anthropology Departments of a major university concerning a long term working relationship on the Apalache town sites in Georgia. I will stick to doing what I know best, architecture and town planning. The professionals, who know how to analyze artifacts, will determine the authenticity and significance of the artifacts.
The time of darkness
I will have to give you some background information to understand the significance of Native American artifacts in our times. There is a direct conflict between Native American culture and the evil aspirations of those who would turn the United States into a police state, run by a tiny, incredibly wealthy elite, while primarily being occupied by a nation of submissive zombies.
The first decade of this century was living hell for me. Almost all of that living hell was due to the illegal acts of public servants, who had sworn to protect the laws and Constitution of this land. It culminated in being evicted on Christmas Eve in 2009. For a long time, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I had never been involved with politics, because my clients came from a broad range of political philosophies. Well, I was just not interested in controlling other people.
Much earlier in my life, I did have a ticket in the front row seats of politics, though. One sunny Saturday in February, I was playing Allman Brothers, Lynnard Skynard and ARS records with Gov. Jimmy Carter and his offspring, when a young Sen. Joe Biden stopped by the governor’s mansion to ask Jimmy to run for president. That afternoon Jimmy told Sen. Biden that he thought I would be governor, or maybe even president, one day. Don’t think that is going to happen. LOL The irony was that Jimmy became a president and Biden became a vice-president.
As you may have just gathered, prior to the year 2000, I was NOT a social outcast, disdained by all around me, and living in extreme poverty like nowadays.
The publicity from being on national television has put me in contact with people in other parts of the nation, who have had similar experiences. There is something that we all had in common. The vast majority of people contacting me are Native Americans, African Americans, Latin Americans or Jewish Americans. We are professionals with engineering or scientific backgrounds, with strong spiritual faiths, plus were entrepreneurial owners of professional practices or small businesses. What we finally figured out was that someone, somewhere, had produced a list of citizens, who were least likely to be zombies within a planned fascist America. The objective between the year 2000 and now, was to destroy us.
It began in the fall of 2000 with Georgia state and federal law enforcement calling up women I had dates with to tell them that I was a “suspected” serial killer and pedophile. Those calls continued for seven years until the recession caused me to have no money for dating. That’s why I do not now have a wife and family. It is an interesting way that these rogue law enforcement officers support family values, isn’t it. One deputy in Union County, GA even showed off that he a family and I didn’t because he had joined the Brotherhood, and I didn’t.
The day in January 2000 after the Supreme Court rejected the suit challenging the results of the Gore-Bush election results in Florida, two US Army Intelligence officers went around my neighborhood to tell folks that I was a rightwing terrorist like Dennis McVeigh. That did not have the results anticipated. Local KKK members thought that I was one of them! LOL As word got around Pickens County, GA, pickups festooned with Confederate flags honked and cheered me!
One of the first acts of the newly created Homeland Security agency in early November of 2001 was to contact all my architecture clients to tell them I was an Al Quaida agent. No one believed the jerks, but everyone was scared of the Bush & Cheney people, so all my contracts were cancelled.
It was so ironic. People, who were waiving little American flags, plus chanting mantras about free enterprise, reigning in big government and family values, were breaking every law in the book to destroy the entrepreneurial owner of a small business and keeping him from having a wife and family.
I am telling you this so you will understand how I got into the “Native American” thing. I could go on ad nauseum about all the illegal acts done against me by occult and rightwing “public servants,” but I think you get the picture.
I went seven months with no professional income. In order to keep my sanity, I started hand-making pottery and firing the pieces in a home-made wood kiln in the back yard. By the end of the seven month period, I was making several hundred dollars a weekend selling my pottery and statuary at Native American festivals. The rightwingers and occultists freaked out! Their evil acts had made me more entrepreneurial than ever. How could they control someone, who earned his living as a carnie man? We must have control!
They thought that by tapping my phone and internet, they knew everything about me. However, they didn’t know that my Creek grandmother was a potter. They didn’t know that Georgia Tech had required me to take numerous courses in ceramic engineering, history and art before going to Mexico. Their kneejerk reactions revealed their obsession with Native American artifacts.
At the 2003 Ocmulgee Native American festival, federal and state law enforcement told the rangers that I was a gay child molester. That didn’t fly because I had girlfriend with me the whole weekend. Camping in a tent with her did not leave much time for me to be a pervert.
Well, at least they could try humiliating me. NAZI’s love to belittle and bully people.
The next day, Dr. Charles Hudson of the University of Georgia showed up incognito with a group of junior professors and graduate students. He introduced himself a flea market vendor, who sold artifacts that he dug up in Native American graves. Actually, that was a very good description of Hudson, but he didn’t’ realize it at the time. Also, he didn’t realize that he had been in my office when I was director of the Asheville-Buncombe County Historic Resources Commission. At the time, he and a bunch of North Carolina professors were creating mythical archaeology in order to have Hernando de Soto spend the night in Asheville and make the Cherokees into the master race who created the world. That’s why some UNC and UGA professors are deathly afraid of me. They know that I know.
Hudson showed a caca-eating grin and pulled some potsherds out of his pocket. He asked me to identify them so he could sell them at the flea market. I protested that I was NOT an archaeologist and knew little about pottery styles. At the time, I was doing nothing involved with Native American history. I was getting my architecture practice back together and selling my ceramic art to supplement income. I did look at archaeology books to get inspiration for my pottery, however. By some stroke of luck, I recognized all the pottery styles. Hudson freaked out.
FUNNY! The academicians turned pale as ghosts. They stared in all directions but me. Hudson had a frozen grin and literally started shaking with embarrassment. His audience slithered away in all directions.
My HOT Seminole girlfriend, who was wearing a Corn Clan ribbon dress, whapped me on the fanny and said, “You made those white jackasses look like fools.” I am sure some of the jackasses and jennies from UGA heard her. We got along famously, but she didn’t tell me until the next weekend that she was still legally married and had a husband in Florida! I found out when she introduced me to her daughters and they asked me when they could move up from their daddy’s house in Florida to my house in the mountains. Yikes!
The following spring, Georgia state police, who were monitoring my phone and internet, arranged for me to be placed in the far corner of a Native American festival in Union County, GA . . . next to a guy, who had been convicted of selling fake artifacts that he made himself. He created beautiful spearheads and axes. I don’t know why he needed to give them a fake identity.
On the other side of the booth was a mentally unstable Georgia Cherokee stone carver, who had given himself the name of GRAY EAGLE. Then a Georgia State cop came up to Gray Eagle and told him that my pottery had been dug from CHEROKEE INDIAN MOUNDS. There is no such thing as a Cherokee Indian mound, but those ignoramuses didn’t know it. Gray Eagle went rabid and started swinging his fists wildly. Fortunately, his heart was weak and so he had to go lay down before any blows were made.
You see the cops were mystified. They listened over and over to the hours of taped telephone conversations and could not figure out how I instantaneously knew how to make exquisite Creek and Maya style pottery. Just like the Georgia archaeologists, they didn’t know about my fellowship and later trips to Mexico. “Why these things just appeared out of thin air,” as the Georgia archaeologist told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The cops were convinced that I was the most vile sort of creature on earth, commonly known as a “librul.” They assumed if they just did a better job of spying, they could prove that I was a librul.
I was still making more and more income from selling my ceramic arts, plus meeting women at Native American festivals. Native American women told the Southern cops to go to hell when they called about me being a serial killer, gay and a pedophile. The rightwingers were worried that it was only a matter of time before I would have family values.
The FBI finally came up with a solution to the problem the following year. A tall, skinny, Mediterranean-looking special agent, in a classic dark blue Chevy Suburban from their Lawrenceville, GA office, followed me around for 285 miles as I delivered pottery to shops. After I left each shop, he would walk in and tell the owners that I dug the pottery up from Indian graves. They would have big problems with the federal government, if they continued to sell my ware. No one believed him, but everyone was afraid of the “Bush-Cheney people.”
By then, it didn’t matter. The Muscogee-Creek Nation really liked my books and the town models I was building for them. I had to do hundreds of hours of research before building each model. I was turning into a bonified expert on Native American history in the process. Soon, other tribes were hiring me to build models and do research. That work all ended when the economy collapsed. The tribes were hurting for money, also. My last architectural commission was in early 2009. It was the Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa. It was paid for by the State of Oklahoma. Then I went on my own Trail of Tears. The rest is history.
Be wary of artifacts standing alone
The immediate reaction of the Southeastern anthropological academicians to the publicity about Track Rock Gap was to return to their old stand by . . . artifacts. I received dozens of emails containing photos of Mesoamerican artifacts that the owner claimed to have found in their backyard. One witch from notoriously occult part of Cherokee County, GA sent an email claiming to have snake effigies, stone terraces and stone pyramids in her front yard.
FUNNY! A person with a Florida State University email address sent me a photo of a Mesoamerican statue that she claimed had been found in Georgia by Florida archaeologists, but kept a secret. There was a problem. This particular statue is famous. It sat on the shelf in the office of Dr. Roman Piña-Chan, who was Director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia and my fellowship coordinator. In fact, somewhere in my boxes, I have a photo of Dr. Piña-Chan and me with the famous statue in the background.
“Well, shezam Gomer, if we’uns can’t right think of an alternative explanation for a town that had a Maya name, looked like an Maya terrace complex and was located in a province whose named meant, “Place of the Itza,” we’uns can always lie a bit and use artifacts as bait!’
As publicity grows for the discoveries being made by POOF members, there will be increasing efforts to discredit them with fake or mislabeled artifacts. Be very careful. There are many honest law enforcement officers and highly competent archaeologists out there. There are also many white law enforcement and parole officers in the Southeast, who are members of the Brotherhood of Patriots.
That’s the same name as the group that put Mussolini in power. It is classified as a domestic terrorist group in other parts of the USA, but the occult and organized crime has given this secret society immense power in the Southeast. What the occult does is entrap police officers with extramarital mistresses, underage girls or teenage boys. Some cops go into law enforcement to cover up sexual confusions. That is why their decade long oppression of me constantly involved trying to present me to others has having some sexual perversion or indiscretion. In their preadolescent way, they were trying to prove that I was no better than them
Their typical modus operandi is to offer leniency to persons just arrested or on parole, if they agree to commit a political crime or run drugs. For example, just recently a ring of Georgia parole officers were caught using single mothers in their teens or early twenties as drug runners.
Do not ever get involved with artifacts that may have been stolen or made recently. You could be blamed for the crime. Southern cops love to frame college students, African Americans, Latin Americans or Native Americans, who they conceive as “all libruls.” They have developed a psychotic world view from listening to ultra-rightwing talking heads on TV. In their minds, they are doing their Lord Satan’s will to send all “libruls” to prison, whether or not any crime has been committed. “Libruls” are the mythical replacement to the “Jewish Problem” which Adolf Hitler trumpeted.
Do not make the mistake of many archaeologists in extrapolating a broad description of the world, based on a single artifact. The artifact may be real, but have been transported a long distance via an ancient trade network or the Delta Airlines flight last month from Mexico City. Do not state that an artifact is a certain age or cultural origin until a technical specialist has analyzed it. Go slow and get several opinions on artifacts, especially if they were not found in a professionally supervised archaeological dig.
Well, just be careful when dealing with Native American artifacts.
About an hour after I left my home for the last time, a North Carolina state trooper pulled up to me in an Ingles Supermarket in Murphy, NC parking lot, as I was loading groceries in the car. All he said was, ”Boy, we’re gonna tatch you respect for AuTHORity.” I smiled silently, but was thinking, “Boy, with the help of the Master of Life, my computer keyboard will someday TATCH YOU respect for our precious gift . . . American democracy.”
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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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