Image: Maya “Indian Mounds” and the Creek Migration Legend
As the People of One Fire’s series on the Mayas continues on June 14, 2016, readers are in for some real surprises. The above photo is of an “Indian Mound” at the Maya city site of Laguna de los Cerros in southern Vera Cruz State. There are over a hundred such mounds of varying size and form at this famous Mexican archaeological site. In fact, there are well over a thousand “Indian Mounds” in southern Vera Cruz and very few stone-veneered “pyramids”. Say what-t-t-t?
There is something else very important about this city to Muskogean readers. It and nearby Tres Zapotes were located on the Great White Path that is mentioned several times in the Creek Migration Legend. It was also located in the same region, where much of the plot of the Creek Migration Legend takes place. This region looks like Georgia, South Carolina and East-Central Alabama. The rocks are igneous and the soil is red clay. The coast of southern Vera Cruz looks exactly like the coastal marshes of South Carolina and Georgia.
Laguna de los Cerros was first settled around 1200 BC and is considered one of the principal “Olmec” cities. Almost all TV documentaries, North American history books and “the real history of the Olmecs” websites, etc. tell you that the Olmec Culture disappeared “mysteriously” around 500 BC and no one knows why. That is malarkey.
Some “Olmec” cities were abandoned by 500 BC, but others continued to thrive and evolve. They became “Epi-Olmec” cities and then Maya cities. Laguna de los Cerros and Tres Zapotes were not abandoned until around 900 AD.
There was no limestone in southern Vera Cruz, which could be processed into hydrated lime for making mortar and stucco. Just as in the case, of Eastern Alabama and Northern Georgia, the people in this region did build fieldstone walls and occasionally veneered earthen mounds with fieldstones, but they very rarely used lime mortar, because of the necessity of importing it long distances. Therefore, it was impossible for these Mayas to create the ornate architectural details found in Yucatan. However, it also means that these Mayas did not strip the landscape of trees in order to burn limestone into hydrated lime.
In the next article, you will also learn about the original pre-Maya writing system that was discovered in the same region as described in “the Creek Migration Legend”. Would you believe that almost all the symbols in this writing system can be found on the art excavated at Etowah Mounds near Cartersville, Georgia?
“As Professional Archaeologists, we can state as a fact that no evidence of Mesoamerican architecture or culture has been found in Georgia.”
Society of Georgia Professional Archaeologists – 2013*
*Prima facie evidence that archaeologists should be required to pass a national licensing exam before being legally allowed to call themselves professionals. Perhaps the Uchees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks and Seminoles should write the version of this exam required in the Southeast.
Mayas . . . Then and Now Series on POOF
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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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