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Kolomoki Mounds showed strong influence from South America

Kolomoki Mounds showed strong influence from South America

 

Descendants of Kolomoki were probably the founders of the original village at Cahokia!

Kolomoki Mounds in deep Southwest Georgia was one of the largest towns north of Mexico and Lake Okeechobee, Florida during the Woodland Period. It is a National Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Unlike the Hopewell Ceremonial Sites in eastern Ohio it was a permanently occupied community, but also functioned as a regional ceremonial center.   What is especially interesting about Kolomoki is that there were cultural traits of its originally settlers and then the later “Weeden Island” occupation of the town, which can be traced directly to eastern or northern Peru.  

Ironically,  academicians outside the lower Southeastern United States typically either don’t mention Kolomoki or else briefly describe it as an insignificant village on the fringes of the “Greater Hopewell Culture Trading Sphere.”   In reality, the founders of Kolomoki were probably colonists from towns along the Chattahoochee and Etowah River, whose settlement long predated the Hopewell Culture. Other than having a symbolic earth berm ringing the central portion of the town, there is little resemblance to Hopewell sites.  In fact, as you will learn in this article, Late Hopewell Culture seems to have been influenced by Kolomoki.   To read more, go to:

The Dirty Little Secrets of . . . Kolomoki Mounds

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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.

13 Comments

  1. markveale@hotmail.com'

    Richard, of course you know Kolomoki is a very important Georgia site as one if not the first rectangular Native Earthworks North of Mexico. The Chattahoochee river by it was called a more ancient name: “Hi-tanachi” by the Para-kusa Nobles. Perhaps a clue of who built that Earthwork. On another note: evidence that man was using Sea fairing boats has been found in Crete back to 130,000 years ago. They arrived there from North Africa…Cro- magon?

    Reply
  2. fragilefoxtrot1969@gmail.com'

    Richard, some sources including Wikipedia wrote that Kolomoki was built around 2nd Century AD, was this dating correct ?

    Reply
    • No – the earliest radiocarbon date so far is 30 AD. The full town site has never been excavated by archaeologists . . . just some of the mounds. I suspect that earlier radiocarbon dates may eventually be found. However, the largest population occurred between 350 AD and 540 AD.

      Reply
      • fragilefoxtrot1969@gmail.com'

        Oh thanks for info, in your estimation, how many people lived there ? around 1000 – 1500 peoples perhaps ?

        Reply
      • fragilefoxtrot1969@gmail.com'

        wow same age as Roman Empire at its height, how many people lived ther from your estimation ? 1500 – 2000 peoples perhaps ?

        Reply
        • No one really knows, but the current estimate is around 2,000 people

          Reply
          • fragilefoxtrot1969@gmail.com'

            That is a large town for a town built in 1st Century BCE or 1st Century CE.

          • Before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors, Georgia was much more like Mexico than other areas of what is now the United States.

  3. markveale@hotmail.com'

    Richard, Thanks for the articles…if you are right about the Earth mound of Ohio matching the shape of the 2 Earth mounds in Georgia…perhaps they also have Geo Earth shapes with them as well but overlooked. A direct connection with South America Geo-Earth designs has not been known until as late using Lidar. The Parakusa in Peru seem to have left lots of tropical bird designs not native to that area in Geo works. Their primary home must have been a Tropical location. They might have migrated back and forth along the coast to Central America when the weather turned cold.

    Reply
  4. ccheshire60@gmail.com'

    Are you familiar with the Pierce mounds site in Apalachicola. Are these tied in to Kolomoki and Manddeville sites?

    Reply
    • Yes, they are – probably had close trading connections . . . Middle Woodland – Swift Creek and Weeden Island Cultures, just like Kolomoki.

      Reply
    • Who knows? Maybe so. There is much of the past that has been forgotten by modern man.

      Reply

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