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Petroglyphs of Bronze Age Nordic boats identified in Northeast Georgia

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 (Southern Lapps)  of the mountains between Sweden and Norway,  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. 800-400 BC) This was about 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.

*Recent genetic studies in Scandinavia have determined that even though the culture and language changed in southern Scandinavia,  genetically, the Scandinavians are not the same people as Germans.   The blue/gray eyes and blond skin are NOT Germanic in origin, but rather, apparently originated in southeastern Iran or the Indus Valley.   Evidently, a relatively few number Germans with superior iron weapons established themselves as the elite over Iron Age chiefdoms.


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.



    Hi Mr. Thornton. This is another fascinating installment of POOF. My question: do you know if DNA testing for European DNA markers has yet been done on unquestionably pre-1492 Uchee and other Creek remains?

    Cheers for Creek History!
    Jim Del Duca
    PhD Student in American Studies

    • NO!!!!! I can’t figure it all. Of course, part of the problem is that the Creek Confederacy was composed of many ethic groups. Then there is the Cherokee problem. Modern Cherokees are showing up with very high levels of Sephardic Jewish DNA, which occurred in the Colonial Period. Then they started claiming that they were the Creeks. So if you dig up old bones in western North Carolina, you will get Arawaks, Creeks, Shawnee or Uchee . . . but the Cherokees will say it is them.


    Richard, I worked with the late Gloria Farley on the topic of pre-Columubian Old World visitors to North America. She had a close relationship with the Uchees. She did a lot of work on studying ship petroglyphs. But I don’t think she knew of the example that you showed. Could you provide more information on it.

    • I am working on it! I just took the photos last weekend . . . and no one pays me for this sort of work. LOL Stay in tune for future articles!


        Thanks. I will look for your updates.

        I acted as editor for Gloria’s book, “In Plain Sight”. She left me the material for a second book. I am still working on this. I too don’t get paid for what I do. I would like to be able to use the material you are gathering in the new book. Please consider giving me permission to do so.

        If you don’t have a copy of “In Plain Sight”, I would be glad to send you one.

  3. mike.callahan-1@HOTMAIL.COM'

    Love this Richard! Great work!


    Richard, Another Great article!! The evidence of pre-Columbus contact in North America has always been extensive… only the academic system seems to ignore the PROOF. The Yuchi, Alabama, Maya have always stated they crossed the Atlantic according to the elders. According to Mr. Brigstock (1653) speaking with the Nobles, new people arrived “from the North”and from a barren land (Newfoundland?) around that time the Kingdom of the Apalacha build a road to Mexico and built some cities there. This would fit well with the invasion of Alba / Ireland also called (Airland) in 700-800’s AD by the Vikings. This would have affected the “Black Irish”, the Scots / Irish peoples. From what I have read Tula was built around 650-700 AD from some people that arrived from the East… via boats. Plank wood boats are found in Mexico from that time period. As far as I am concerned their have always been sea peoples for 50-60,000 years and trade connections for a long time.


    SUPER article, Richard! Keep ’em coming!


    Your comment that the drawings could be “upside down” is very important. I saw at least one of the markings on a PBS special about the Conquistadors several years ago in an area where the local native people are known as “People Who Walk Straight.” The symbol looks like a comb with four teeth spaced about an inch apart. Depending on whether it is rightside up, it looks like the northern Semitic word for One God.

    • Marianne, I figured out that it was upside down because there were some standard Scandinavian symbols on it that were being shown upside down. Then I realized that there were boats on the petroglyphs.



  1. May Blog 2017 – Beltaine and the Beginning of Summer! | Ellen Evert Hopman - […] Petroglyphs of Bronze Age Nordic boats found in Georgia, USA […]
  2. May Blog 2017 - Beltaine and the Beginning of Summer! - Ellen Evert Hopman - […] Petroglyphs of Bronze Age Nordic boats found in Georgia, USA […]

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