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Fort Caroline ~ The Search for America’s Lost Heritage

Fort Caroline ~ The Search for America’s Lost Heritage

It is one of the strangest chapters in American history. All Early Colonial archives and maps place the French Colony of Fort Caroline (1564-1565) and the original location of St. Augustine on the coast of the State of Georgia, 90 miles north of the locations now stated by almost all contemporary books and online references.

The massive walls of Fort Caroline were built to hold a planned 1000 colonists. These ruins eluded archaeologists. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent over the past 80 years by the Federal government, State of Florida and Florida universities in fruitless archaeological expeditions to find some evidence of Fort Caroline in Florida. There is none.

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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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