Richard Thornton | Mar 17, 2017 | 1
Recently announced stone architecture complex in Chambers County, Alabama to be described at April 19, 2015 lecture
Teresa Paglione, a cultural resources specialist with National Resources Conservation Services (US Department of Agriculture) in Opelika, Alabama, will give a lecture entitled “The LaFayette Ceremonial Stone Complex: An Unexpected Discovery of a Prehistoric Stone Row and Stones Piles in Chambers County,” on April 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM CDT or 3:00 PM EDT at the Valley, Alabama Library. The library is located at 3419 20th Ave. Valley, AL 36854 (334)768-2050 – firstname.lastname@example.org.) The lecture is sponsored by the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, which draws members from Troup and Harris Counties in Georgia and Chambers County in Alabama.
Description of this event by the CVHS
About a decade ago a member of The Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society Board of Directors followed a clue found in printed material in the Cobb Memorial Archives to rediscover a mysterious site of stones long ignored and almost forgotten by the inhabitants of Chambers County. The Board member with family made lengthy treks through cottonmouth infested swamps to reach and walk over the undisturbed site. In the nineteenth century this odd array of stones covering acres of land next to a creek was approachable by field roads and was visited by picnic parties of school children and families.
Since the rediscovery of the site, the CVHS Board has identified the landowner and secured permission for access to the sight for purposes of study and documentation.
Teresa Paglione, as a professional archeologist, was asked by the Board to provide leadership in documentation of the site. The landowner is committed to protecting the site because of its unique value in understanding the history of Chambers County and this region. The location of the site and name of the owner will not be publicized and access to the site is made by permission of owner through CVHS officers. A rattlesnake has been observed in the stones.
The LaFayette Ceremonial Stone Complex consists of a single massive linear stone row in somewhat of a crescent shape-with both ends leading downhill to a creek. Across from this linear stone work and the creek are at least 49 stone piles. Archaeologists are certain that Native Americans erected these stone works, but when they were constructed is not easily documented. Dozens of these works have been identified in North Alabama.
The LaFayette Ceremonial Complex is the largest known work of this type so far south in the topography of our state. This stone work and site date from perhaps a thousand or more years ago. The historic Native Americans would have recognized these ancient sacred sites, given them names and may have contributed to the works. Teresa will describe the LaFayette Ceremonial Site and the work to date in the effort to document the large site and its stone works.
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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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