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Florida Professors Hijack Discovery of Fort Caroline

Georgia state agency secretly bypasses Georgia archaeologists and authorizes Florida archaeologists to dig on site

On Friday, February 21, 2014 Florida State University issued a press release to news agencies around the United States which gave full credit of the discovery of the site of Fort Caroline on the Altamaha River to a team of Florida academicians, who as late as December 2013, were publicly belittling the well-documented search for Fort Caroline by several pioneering POOF members. POOF’s search for Fort Caroline began in the spring of 2007.

The press release liberally quoted newsletters published by POOF but credited the statements to University of Florida professors. One professor claimed to have “recently” discovered the map drawn by French geographer, Pierre du Vall, that was much earlier discovered by POOF member Michael Jacobs, and later published in our January 11, 2014 newsletter on Fort Caroline.

It is obvious that Georgia university anthropology programs and anthropology programs will be outraged that a state agency would issue a special use permit to Florida archaeologists for excavation of the site, without even letting Georgia archaeologists know of potential work. The discovery of Fort Caroline by the People of One Fire team was made possible by the assistance of the Glynn County, GA Government, South Georgia Regional Commission and the Coastal Regional Commission. Glynn County and the Coastal Regional Commission furnished the LIDAR and infrared images that POOF readers have seen in our newsletters. An archaeologist from Brunswick, GA in Glynn County has been assisting the researchers for POOF. He was ignored by the state agency.

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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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