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News: 12,300 year old camp site with tobacco seeds found in Utah

News:   12,300 year old camp site with tobacco seeds found in Utah


This is a game changer.  If Ice Age hunters were carrying tobacco seeds around with them, that means they were practicing agriculture.  In other words, agriculture occurred in North America at least as early as 10,200 BC.  Right now, the assumption by anthropologists and forensic botanists is that experiments with the cultivation of a wild sunflower species began perhaps as early as 5,500 BC in the Southeast and serious domestication of a wild squash began here around 3,500 BC.   

I strongly suspect that Southeastern River Cane is a domesticated plant, gone feral.  The river cane patches are invariably concentrated around old Muskogean village sites along creeks and rivers.  Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is a wild grass that looks like miniature river cane.  It is the only thing that I can get to grow in the meadows around my cabin.  Well, actually, it grows itself.  I just use a swath to cut away competing weeds.

This makes me wonder if a many of the indigenous plants that scientists presume originated in Southern Mexico, Central America or Northwestern South America, may have actually originated in other parts of the Americas.

Feral river cane growing on Talking Rock Creek, next to a satellite village of the capital town of Kusa in Pickens County, GA.

Feral river cane growing on Talking Rock Creek, next to a satellite village of the capital town of Kusa in Pickens County, GA.


To read this article go to:    Utah Ice Age Camp Site


In 2015, Science Daily published a series of articles on the evidence of early agriculture in the Middle East.

To read these articles go to:    Early Experiments in Agriculture

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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.




    I find all of our posts fascinating! A co-worker, Bill Manning, kindly forwarded me one of your email posts a week ago and I’m so glad he did. I am a graduate student at Georgia State University and am pursuing my Masters degree in Heritage Preservation, as I am intrigued by ancient history and archaeology and am going to school for a new career track. I am also a Georgia resident, so I find the information you are sharing that is right here locally very interesting. I looked for a way to email you directly, but didn’t see an option on your website, so here is my email: I look forward to following your articles and the information that you share. Take care, Amber

    • I am delighted and honored that a Georgia State University scholar finds our research interesting and useful. My masters degree was from Georgia State.



    I suspect you are quite correct regarding your observation of river cane. I have noted it clustered around various old camp sites here in Alabama. I can report that it makes wonderful arrow shafts. Some consider it to be natures’ answer to modern composite shafts. In various sizes it has a lot of uses.

    • They also make perfect pipe stems for traditional Creek pipes!


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