Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
Nacoochee Valley, GA petroglyphs may well be lost Creek writing system
POOF member George Mathews and have been going through the 73 year old records of archaeologist Robert Wauchope’s Archeological Survey of Northern Georgia. That is how I rediscovered the massive, terraced Mesoamerican-style ball court in the Nacoochee Valley. Just this past week, George found Wauchope’s description of a 40 feet high pyramidal mound that is almost in walking distance from my cabin. It has been completely forgotten by archaeologists and historic preservationists. The mound is the same size as the Great Temple Mound at Ocmulgee National Monument, but located near Amicalola Falls in the Georgia Mountains. Hm-m-m-m – that might change the textbooks.
George also found the report on the Squirrel Mountain petroglyphs. They have apparently been forgotten, but at least originally the stone tablet was stored at the “then brand new” Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia in the late 1940s.
Squirrel Mountain adjoins the Nacoochee Valley. The Nacoochee Valley contains extensive evidence of an early Itza Maya occupation. It also contained the last capital of the Apalache Kingdom and Georgia’s oldest European settlement (French Huguenots – c. 1566.) The petroglyphs were found in association with Historic Period Lamar style pottery, so they were definitely produced by ancestors of the Creeks.
Note the apparently Roman letters D and A on the right of the stone tablet. What do YOU see in these abstract glyphs?
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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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