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Image: Ancient iron and copper furnaces in Western North Carolina

Image:  Ancient iron and copper furnaces in Western North Carolina


This archaeological excavation by the Smithsonian Institute over a century ago, is but one example of the fascinating true history of the mountains of North Carolina.  The hints of a complex history in the region have been concealed from our current generation,  less they call to question the myth of the “Great Cherokee Empire,” which was fabricated in the late 20th century.

 This particular site is located in Caldwell County, NC.  There are iron, gold, copper and silver ore deposits in that region.  It appears to be a complex of stone furnaces, used to smelt iron, gold and copper ore into ingots that later became a Native American cemetery. However, the skeletons may be Caucasians.  The archaeologists made no effort to determine the ethnicity of the skeletons.  The metal artifacts were shipped back to Washington, DC and today are somewhere in the vast warehouses of the Smithsonian Institute.

Solidified molten iron and copper were found at several locations in the complex, as were iron weapons and tools.   The style of iron implements could be anywhere from the Roman Era to the Early Renaissance, but definitely did not date from the 1700s, when Great Britain colonized North Carolina.  This site may date from the earliest times of the European Contact Era or be much older.  There has been no efforts by contemporary archaeologists to re-examine the site to obtain more artifacts and radiocarbon dates.  The site abounded in charcoal, so radiocarbon dating would be quite easy.

Three types of burials were discovered.  The earliest was a rectangular stone sarcophagus that is typical of above ground, Christian burials in medieval Europe.  The more common burials at this site were flexed skeletons jammed into the abandoned furnaces or conventional extended corpse burials.  The more haphazard burials were accompanied by some Native American artifacts.

Ancient bronze and iron implements found elsewhere

In 1936,  James Ford of the Smithsonian Institute found bronze weapons and tools along the banks of the Altamaha River near its mouth.  He naively labeled them Late 16th century Spanish implements.  The people of Iberia stopped making bronze weapons around 500 BC!   These ancient artifacts were put on display at a museum, built by the State of Georgia next to the Altamaha River.  However, after World War II, the state government converted the property to an orphanage then later deeded the orphanage to the Southern Baptist Church.  No one knows yet what happened to these artifacts, but they are probably in a state warehouse somewhere.

Ancient bronze and iron axes and tools have been found in several stone covered burial mounds in the Oconee River Basin of Northeast Georgia, which is a major tributary of the Altamaha River.  The discoveries were made by highly competent, professional archaeologists . . . some of whom are still alive today.  They were briefly mentioned in published archaeological reports, but never publicized.  You see . . . there is a problem . . . the bronze and iron tools were in burials that seem to predate the arrival of French and Spanish explorers to the Southeastern United States.  To publicize evidence that Europeans were in the Southeast before Columbus could have put their careers in jeopardy. 

And now you know!

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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.



    Again, thanks for all you do!

    • I appreciate the many kind comments from our readers!


      Those who control the past control the present as the saying goes. I was reading recently about how Margaret Mead faked up her research into Samoan culture (making it far more peaceful than it was in reality) in order to fit a narrative preferred at the time by her ideological (career) mentors and now some similarly aligned parties in anthropology are adverse to publicizing her fraud fearing it will give support to their ideological opponents. It is appalling that people in public institutions, purporting to be academic institutions, put energy into obscuring, not bringing to light, the past. This sort of thing is what operates time and again to obscure the truth which is why getting at the truth is such a heavy lift. Thanks for working to bring this stuff to light. Contra Al Pacino’s famous movie line, we can handle the truth and we are entitled to it.

    • Hey Lara,
      Oxhide shaped copper ingots were used all over Europe. There were many displayed at the Landskrona History Museum – the city in Sweden where I worked. There were also dozens of burial mounds around Landskrona that were identical in every detail to Adena mounds in the Ohio Valley. The people, who built those mounds were not Germanic Scandinavians, but Gamla Folk, who were probably the same as the aboriginal people of Ireland – before the Celts. Germanic Scandinavians did not enter Sweden until the Early Iron Age. In other words, just because one finds oxhide ingots in Tennessee, Georgia and Upper Midwest, does not mean that Minoans made them. The “Commander” in the video seemed to be unaware that there were large copper deposits around Copper Hill, TN and Blue Ridge, GA.

      The only solid connection we have is between the petroglyphic boulders found in the Georgia Gold Belt and the identical petroglyphic boulders found in County Kerry, Ireland. Oxhide ingots are also found in County Kerry. The petroglyphic boulders in County Kerry have been dated to the Bronze Age. Obviously, County Kerry is the closest point between Europe and North America.

      That being said . . . the only locations in the world where we know triangular stone temples were built were at the Nodoroc Mud Volcano in NE Metro Atlanta plus Sardinia, Corsica, Crete and Cyprus. Something was going on back around 2,200 BC.


    Richard, Considering the mounting evidence of a massive cover up (“Maya thing”) and migration events of at least some of the European looking peoples arriving before 1492, you have been very kind to the Academic communities in this country.
    When will people ever understand that history is a tale of lies told by man….follow the money for the truth Richard for this world order. Man has been able to make boats from the Neanderthal days 600,000 years ago and that fits for the Bible as on the 6th day GOD created man. Oh…the Bible began and ends with the letter “N” for the text. Perhaps a clue. I don’t think they teach that in most un-I-versities these days.

    • My gosh . . . the Australian Aborigines paddled to Australia in large numbers over 50,000 years ago! One would think that this undeniable fact would have an impact on the mentalities of most academicians . . . but it doesn’t.


    Hey Richard,
    Are these sites similar to the smelter at Sandy Creek terraces in Athens? When I was there I could see the smelter , but it being on private land I did not go up and look closely. Has any dating been done on the site in the article or at Sandy Creek? It would be interesting if they were used at the same time.
    Thanks for keeping history alive

    • I think there are similarities between the two sites, but archaeologists have refused to look at Sandy Creek because it has stone walls.


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