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National Geographic Video: Secrets of the Nazca Lines

National Geographic Video:  Secrets of the Nazca Lines


There is a direct connection between the Nazca Plain of Peru and the advanced peoples of the Southeastern United States.  Until the early 1700s, the elite of the Apalache in Northeast Georgia and also,  South Atlantic Coast Panoan provinces and the Calusa of Southwest Florida called themselves Paracusite, which means “Ocean Elite People.”   The Paracus built the animal effigies on the Nazca Plain  then departed.  The Nazca People built the simpler Nazca Lines.  So if you have Creek or Seminole ancestry, you can probably say that some of your ancestors built the Nazca Effigies.

The Paracus are best known these days for their red-haired mummies and strange supersized skulls.  They were extremely tall, so probably furnished the genes that made proto-Creeks average a foot taller than Europeans at the time of Contact.

Peru’s arid coastal plain is such a different world than the Southeastern United States.  Nevertheless, the advanced cultural concepts that the Paracusa brought with them, such as the Sacred Black Drink ceremonies, blended with the traditions of other peoples to create the Muskogean Peoples.




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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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