Native American Architecture as American Architecture
Why the Federal government should recognize Native American architecture as American architecture
The 184.5 mile long C&O Canal is a national park. The several hundred miles of canals, locks and raised causeways built by an indigenous people from 300 AD to 1150 AD to link the sophisticated towns south of Lake Okeechobee, FL receive almost no protection. After being studied by professional archaeologists in the late 20th century, knowledge of this remarkable civilization was “buried under the rug” by their peers. Even most Floridians don’t know it existed. Such knowledge would challenge the orthodoxies of the archaeology profession.
The Sandy Creek Terrace Complex contains hundreds of stone agricultural terraces, cairns, rectangular stone building ruins and stone-veneered mounds over a 400 acres+ archaeological zone. It is six miles north of the University of Georgia. To this day, UGA archaeologists have never studied these ruins.
It is a pattern seen throughout the Eastern United States. Generally, when there are stone ruins or large scale engineering projects created by indigenous peoples, they are ignored by most members of the archaeology profession and are unknown to policy makers in DC. The only explanation is that such ruins conflict with a simplistic understanding of America’s past. At least, HABS acknowledgement of these ancient ruins as architecture would be the first step to preservation. To learn more
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