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Migration Legend Supplement: Rare 1735 map of Savannah

The map below was published in late 1735 in Germany.  It accompanied excerpts of the Migration Legend of the Creek People, translated into German.

This map, along with the lost documents that were discovered in April 2015, provide a radical new understanding about the origins of the Creek Confederacy and several of its members.  Both High King Chikili and Tamachichi stated in these documents that the first “Creek” town was where Savannah was located and “our first emperor is buried there.”

Note in the second detailed map that the tomb of the first “Creek emperor” (Indian King’s Tomb) is clearly labeled.  Prior to these discoveries, absolutely no one ever considered the possibility of Savannah being the place where the first Muskogean polity developed.  This paradigm radically changes the interpretation of “Mississippian” archaeological sites and artifacts in the Lower Southeast.

Notice the “Old Fort” on the east side of the Ogeechee River.  So far I have been unable to find another map or colonial archive that mentions a fort at that location.  The location is not heavily developed today.  It might be a fascinating location for archaeologists to explore.

Click the maps to enlarge them to full resolution.


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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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