Image: 1500 year old Chattahoochee Snaggletooth Cat Jar
This Snaggletooth Cat Jar came from the Shoemake Mound on the Chattahoochee River, about seven miles west of Kolomoki Mounds. It was produced by people of the Weeden Island Culture around 500 AD. I am pretty sure that the Weeden Island People were Southern Arawaks from South America. They were probably the ancestors of the Apalachicola Tribal Branch of the Creek Indians.
These talented artisans were fond of putting cartoon characters on jars and bowls. It was also commonplace for them to cut out geometric shapes from the walls of clay greenware pottery before firing them. Obviously, jars and bowls with decorative holes in them were not meant for holding liquids!
The jar was excavated by the famous archaeologist, Clarence Bloomfield Moore, in 1906. His excavations completely destroyed several mounds on the Lower Chattahoochee River.
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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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