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Petroglyphs near ancient volcano seem to be a writing system

Petroglyphs near ancient volcano seem to be a writing system

 

Also, a layer of sand, up to 15 feet deep, separates the Early Colonial occupation of the Nacoochee Valley from artifacts dated to the late 1700s and early 1800s.   A undocumented natural cataclysm occurred there a little over 200 years ago.

Beautiful spring weather was the perfect excuse on March 23, 2019 for three intrepid explorers to hike up to reported carved boulders. The site of the two boulders is 2.16 miles southwest of the top of Chimney Mountain and at an elevation of 910m (2001 feet) on a crest of the mountain ridge.  Chimney Mountain reportedly had smoke or steam intermittently coming out the top until the 1886 Charleston Earthquake.  This smoking mountain is what first attracted Smithsonian Institute archaeologist, Cyrus Thomas, to study the area. 

Chimney Mountain is definitely an ancient volcano. Whether it is extinct or dormant is not known. The only geological study of the region only analyzed visible rocks along public roads – not inside this mountain.  All of the rocks in our study area were determined by the 1951 geological survey to be volcanic.  The predominant rock, rhyolite, is generally associated with massive, highly explosive calderas with no visible cones.  The rhyolite was estimated in that study to date from 65 to 134 million years ago, but the geologists did not have the type of equipment now available for studying the chemical, radioactive and magnetic characteristics of rocks.  They merely looked at some rocks with handheld magnifying glasses.

Geological activity may or may not be the reason for the carving of this boulder.  It seems to be associated with astronomical symbols, but I am not certain of this.  The primary reason that we are documenting the petroglyphs and stone ruins in the Soque River – Nacoochee Valley Area is to obtain a better understanding of why they exist and when they were constructed.

These are photos of the boulders in visible light.

Description of the petroglyphic boulders

I was able to obtain precise documentation of this site with my new state-of-the-art combined GPS-laser measuring device.  However, we do not divulge latitude and longitude of archaeological sites on private land.  Both stones are high density rhyolite, which suggests that they naturally occurring features of the mountainside. The main boulder is 329 cm (10.8 ft) long and 134 cm (4.4 ft) tall.  This  boulder faces True South, which is about 6.5 degrees different than magnetic south.   The smaller boulder, which was partially covered with soil and debris, faces True West.  It appears to be a stela that was pushed over on its side.   The only natural landmark, which aligns to the south of the Westmoreland Petroglyphs is Lynch Mountain.  It is a collapsed caldera and 5.2 miles south of the petroglyphs.

To identify the barely visible petroglyphs, I took near visible infrared light photos.  Closeup photos of individual symbols were more visible, but probably would have been almost meaningless to most readers.  Using software developed for making old maps and drawings legible, I digitally removed the color spectra of lichen and moss.  I then magnified the photo digitally and “chalked in” the images with a 10 pixal per inch digital spray. All of these symbols appear on the Track Rock, Forsyth and Tugaloo Petroglyphs in Georgia, plus the Nyköping Petroglyphs in Sweden.  I was unable to see any images on Boulder B, but was able to feel with my finger what appeared to be a stylized elk like what appears on the Track Rock petroglyphs, plus many Bronze Age petroglyphic sites in Sweden and Norway.

Digitally enhanced, near visible light image of Boulder One at the Westmoreland Site.

A mysterious geological cataclysm in the Nacoochee Valley.

During the late 1820s and 1830s,  gold miners found several village sites, constructed out of hewn logs, which contained European artifacts typical of the 15th and 16th century.  All were buried under six to nine feet of sand!   In 1939, archaeologist Robert Wauchope was puzzled by a three to fifteen feet deep band of sand, containing no artifacts, which lay under the soil, containing late 18th century and 19th century artifacts.  Beneath the sand was a 4-12 inch band of soil contain a mixture of Creek (Lamar Culture) artifacts and 16th/17th century European artifacts. Below that were artifacts, typical of the region south of the mountains, going back to the Ice Age.  Without looking for them, Wauchope found 35 Clovis points.  However, after a year of searching, Wauchope wrote that he never found a village with Cherokee artifacts in them.  He concluded that whoever lived in the Nacoochee Valley in the late 1700s had very similar lifestyles to those of white settlers on the frontier.

My new old home is slightly south-southeast of the Westmoreland Petroglyths and 1.5 miles east of the Lynch Mountain caldera. While civilizing my tract of land on the brow of Sautee Ridge in the eastern end of the Nacoochee Valley, I have also run into some very inexplicable geology.   There is a 12-18 inch band of tan-colored sand beneath the topsoil.  What in the world is sand doing on top of a Georgia mountain?  You are not supposed to find sand on top of a mountain or hill anywhere in the Southern Mountains or Piedmont.  Beneath the sand is very hard, red clay. At many locations the rhyolite bedrock protrudes to the surface, but it also underlays all of the red clay.  

However, there is somethings far more strange than sand in the lower levels of my topsoil and upper levels of the sand . . . volcanic bombs.  The bombs consist of potato shaped rocks with a porous texture and smooth surfaces. Most of the volcanic scaria rocks are black, but some are dark brown.  The pumice rocks are a cream color.   There is also a strange looking rock that is created when volcanic ash falls into fast running, shallow mountain rivers then is exposed to high heat from lava.  The ash hardens around rounded river pebbles and looks something like concrete.  

Out of curiosity, I sent the photo below, plus a close up view of the blackest volcanic bomb and a small plastic bag of the sand to the United States Geological Survey in Reston, VA.   I told them that I was an architect working on the restoration of a building on top of a low mountain in a zone of rhyolite bedrock, but was finding the stones in the photos plus the tan sand in the soil above hard red clay.  I asked them if there was any danger to the building from a volcanic eruption.  I didn’t tell them that the building was in Georgia.

These are all rocks from my land that I have stacked on the wall in my front yard.  The only other place that I’ve seen these rocks is in Mexico!

About 10 days later I received a telephone call from an excited geologist with the USGS Volcano Hazards Program. The “sand” was volcanic ash.  The black lava rock and pumice could be anywhere from one to a thousand years old.  She wanted to know if my project was in the Pacific Northwest Volcanic Zone in California, Oregon or Washington.  They were seeing a lot of underground activity there. 

I told her actually that I was in Northeast Georgia.  She responded that it was impossible and became very angry.  She said that there had been no volcanic activity in Georgia for probably 60 million years.  I told her that the USGS website states that several mountains in northern Georgia emitted super-heated gases, smoke and sufurous fumes immediately before the 1886 Charleston Earthquake.  She said that she had never heard of that.  She asked me where I got the volcanic sand.  I told her, “underneath my garden.  It’s under everybody’s yards on this street.  People also find obsidian around here, when officially it is not supposed to be anywhere in the Southeast

She responded curtly, “In Georgia? . . . I’m a professional geologist, not some ignorant conspiracy theorist on TV.  That sand would be quartzite by now, if it had fallen in your area of the country.  You picked it up while on vacation out west, didn’t you?  You know we could have you arrested for filing a hoax.  We are very busy people, responsible for protecting the lives of millions of citizens.  If you try this hoax again, we will have you arrested.” She then hung up

So . . . we still don’t know why a vast quantity of sand or volcanic ash? was deposited on the floor of the Nacoochee Valley at the tail end of the 17th century or in the early 18th century.  We can be fairly certain, though, that it was an extermination event and explains why the capital of Apalache disappeared suddenly from the European maps during that era.   The Chattahoochee River is not much more than a creek in the Nacoochee Valley.  One would think that it lacked the water volume to pack fifteen feet of sand on the valley floor.  

Now you know!

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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.

10 Comments

  1. Reillyranch@aol.com'

    There you go again Richard, trying to rock the boat with your truth and facts. Don’t you know that the real professional scientists and academicians are way beyond simply following the evidence. No, they gather together at conferences to form group opinions, in support of some social engineering attempt, then publish their generally accepted peer reports to tell the rest of us amateurs what to believe. Trust them, what you observe with your own senses is not real. If it was real, they would have told about it already. And because they didnt tell you, it doesn’t exist.

    Reply
    • I don’t know who to go to now about the evidence of a massive natural disaster here. Something that would cover the landscape with 15 feet of sand would change the history books. Was it an exploding comet like they had in Siberia over a century ago? A massive fire followed by heavy rains might wash a lot of soil downstream. However, that would not explain the fairly young lava bombs. Some of you have seen those rocks here. Only big volcanoes create such things.

      Reply
  2. roadscrape88@gmail.com'

    I’ve wondered for years how Chimney Mt. came to get the name since it looks nothing like a chimney. However, if it was venting smoke and steam the name makes perfect sense!

    As for the USGS employee, I would have called back and asked to speak with her supervisor!

    Thanks as always for all the great work!

    Cheers,
    Bill in Roswell

    Reply
    • We need to find a geologist that will investigate the situation. They have to understand that this valley was the location of the first major gold rush in the United States, yet has never been seriously studies by geologists.

      Reply
  3. markveale@hotmail.com'

    Richard, it sounds like the Feds. just don’t want anyone digging around “in them there hills” Why else didn’t she just send someone out to confirm/refute the find? Telling people they live on a “volcano caldron” could start a panic on land prices. Those symbols don’t appear to be much of a match for any ancient symbols…more like a modern prankster placed them there? How large of an area would that volcano have impacted? The famous Greek Oracle of Delphi site was on some kind volcano: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythia#/media/File:John_Collier_-_Priestess_of_Delphi.jpg

    Perhaps another possible connection with the Eastern Mediterranean was in that area.

    Reply
    • Actually all of those symbols appear on 3-4000 year old petroglyphs in southern Sweden and Norway. The volcanic zone is about 45 miles north-south by 30 miles east-west.

      Reply
  4. jamesrhodes666@msn.com'

    Recently a NatGeo type show asked the question, which I got wrong: “What can you find atop Mt. Everest and also in the Sahara Desert?” The answer was SEA SHELLS! Maybe some viewers would think that also is some type of joke or hoax?

    Reply
    • As a teenager, I also found sea shells in a plowed field in southern Fulton County, not too far from the Atlanta Airport. I latter learned that the reason that I found so many arrowheads in that field was that it was a Creek village site.

      Reply
  5. IWG42@HOTMAIL.COM'

    Hey Richard
    I found a seashell on the village terrace at Trackrock last week. I thought it was odd to find it there but maybe not.
    I found an article on the Nat. Geo web site about a Roman city in the Mediterranean that died out in the 500’s ad. It was during the antique ice age 536 to 660 ad. Some of those dates look familiar.
    Heres the link
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/03/ancient-garbage-dump-elusa-reveals-surprising-city-collapse/
    Thanks for all you do

    Reply
    • It could have been left there by someone doing an occult ceremony too.

      Reply

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