Petroglyphs of Bronze Age Nordic boats identified in Northeast Georgia
The Uchee have always said that they came across the Atlantic from the Home of the Sun and landed on the Georgia coast.
Uchee descendants are being found to carry high levels of the same DNA test markers found in the Saami (Lapps) of northern Scandinavia, the Gamlafolk of the mountains between Sweden and Denmark, the Black Irish of County Kerry, Ireland and the Basques of Iberia. This petroglyphic boulder was found on the banks of the Tugaloo River in traditional Uchee territory in an ancient Dunlap Culture village (c. 800 BC) at the same time that Germanic peoples began to invade Scandinavia. The Deptford Culture village site on top of it was founded at the same time (c. 400 BC) that the aboriginal people of Denmark and Skåne were driven out by Germanic Scandinavians with iron weapons.
Since the early 1800s, a heavily engraved rock has been laying on the grounds of Jarrett House (Travelers Rest State Historic Site) near the banks of the Tugaloo River in Stephens County, GA. Apparently, few people with intellectual curiosity have ever closely examined it since the property came under the ownership of the State of Georgia in 1953. Ed and Bobbie Smith produced a scale drawing of the petroglyphs in 1977. (See below) That should have set the Southeastern archaeological world on fire. Instead, just like the hundreds of stone architecture sites in the Southern Highlands, Southeastern archaeologists pretend that it isn’t there. A brochure at the museum states that a University of Georgia archaeology professor said that it marked a treaty between the Cherokees and the Uchees. Say what?
In fact, the complex imagery on the stone is IDENTICAL to Bronze Age petroglyphs on the islands of Zealand and Jutland in Denmark and the Province of Skåne. Furthermore, petroglyphic boulders have been found along the ancient trade route from Tugaloo Island to the Nacoochee Valley, which are identical to the earliest forms of rune stones found in Southern Sweden and Denmark. Well . . . there is much, much more to the story than that. It will take several articles in the People of One Fire to cover all the information.
In addition to a vast array of astronomical and calendrical symbols on the stone, there are clearly several types of Bronze Age boats, abstractly presented in the exact same style as found in southern Scandinavia. These include the hjörtspringbåt and småkornkvärnebåt. The sea-going hjörtspringbåt was symbolized by a parallel curving lines, while the småkornkvärnebåt was symbolized by a single arc. The sketches by Ed and Bobby Smith are not quite as accurate as architects like to use, so I am currently converting my photos into scale drawings. Color spectrum enhancement reveals many more continuous lines, where they left gaps. Nevertheless, their sketches clearly present the remarkable contents of the stone . . . even if it is upside down!
It has bothered me for a long, long time that the same abstract religious symbols that are associated with the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age in the National Museum of Denmark can be found in my own Creek-Uchee heritage. Now we know that the glyph for Royal Sun was identical in Bronze Age Scandinavia, Creek art and in the Maya writing system. It has also bothered me for a long, long time that every aspect of the burial mounds and artifacts found in the burial mounds in and around Landskrona, Sweden, where I lived, were identical to those of the Adena Culture in the Ohio Valley.
There was something else peculiar about many of the petroglyphic boulders in Northeast Georgia. They are very similar, if not identical to the petroglyphic boulders of County Kerry Ireland and southern Scandinavia. There is a certain style that the pre-Germanic Scandinavians used for nautical charts and maps of the skies. They consisted of curvy lines with dots at the ends. Those symbols occur on several petroglyphic boulders in Northeast Georgia. The identical nature of the art made no sense until we learned recently that Uchees carried high levels of DNA test markers from the regions.
The Forsyth Petroglyphic Boulder was found on the Chattahoochee River at the intersection of two important Native American trade paths. Both trails to the north led to large complexes of stone cairns and waterfalls. Most of the symbols on the Forsyth Boulder can be found on the Tugaloo Rock, while all of the symbols on the Forsyth Boulder can be found at petroglyph sites in Southern Scandinavia. In our next article on the Uchee Origins, we will examine the astounding similarity of petroglyphs and Early Woodland archaeological sites in Northeast Georgia to their contemporary counterparts in Southern Scandinavia.
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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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