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Research Report: Initial Exploration of the Land of the Soque

Research Report:  Initial Exploration of the Land of the Soque


The Soque (Zoque, Sokee, Sukee) were the descendants of the “Olmec” Civilization and the progenitors of the Miccosukee.

A Tayrona mountaintop town in Colombia

Curious as to why no one seemed aware of the stone ruins and earthworks on my property and on the mountain where I live, I have carried out some initial investigations.  With the help of a longtime resident in Habersham County, who owns a farmer’s market around the corner, I was able to find the trail leading to the Alec Mountain Stone Circle.  However, I immediately encountered two Copperhead snakes on the trail.  It’s best that we wait for late fall before having a POOF hike there.  However, the gentlemen told me two other fascinating things.  First, many of the “old time” families in this region are showing up with Portuguese and Jewish DNA markers . . . those 17th century gold miners never left.  Secondly, the Alec Mountain Stone Circle is really part of a series of stone walled terraces.  It’s actual appearance is like the ruins of Ciudad Perdido in the mountains of Colombia.  That’s a game changer.

I finally have access to all my reference books, which have been in storage since Christmas Eve of 2009.  Immediately, in a Smithsonian Institute publication from the 1880s, I was astonished to learn that the archaeologists, working for the Smithsonian identified and complex of stone ruins, stone effigies, stone cairns, mounds and terrace walls across the mountainous sections of Habersham County.  Some of these sites were visited by archaeologist Robert Wauchope in 1939, and thus have official site numbers. Most were unknown to Wauchope and remain unknown to the current generation of Georgia archaeologists.  The most astonishing find was the largest stone effigy in North America.  The massive stone snapping turtle is on an island in the Tallulah River near Lake Burton on the western edge of Rabun County. Below is a partial list of discoveries by the Smithsonian archaeologists in the 1880s.


Cyrus Thomas & James Mooney found several dozen more stone ruins, but did not list them because they thought that white men built them – “too sophisticated to be built by the Cherokees.” Also, Robert Wauchope found extensive stone ruins and terraces in the vicinity of Yonah Mountain.

Unless one is an astute “ole time” scholar of South Carolina history, you probably don’t know who the Soque were and are.  Incredibly, they are not mentioned in the official South Carolina State website on its Native American history.  Georgia does not even have such a web site, but relies on a handful of private companies, with no guidance from Georgia’s Native Americans, to replicate folklore, labeled history.

To be succinct, they were one of the most powerful and culturally advanced indigenous peoples in what is now the United States.  However, their presence was quickly diminished by European plagues and English-sponsored slave raids. Initial reports from British officials in Charleston described them as being dominant over a substantial area of the Up Country from a large capital, based at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Late 17th century eyewitness accounts describe them as having flattened foreheads and wearing clothing typical of Mexican Indians.


Soque or Sokee is the American English spelling for the same ethnic group, which spelled Zoque in Mexican Spanish.   The correct pronunciation in both the United States and Mexico is roughly Jzhō: kē.  It is a Mixtec-Zoque word, which means “civilized.”  The Zoque in Mexico and the Miccosukee in the United States both claim to be the progenitors of the so-called “Olmec Civilization”. 

The Soquee River in Habersham County, GA and Soco Gap in Haywood and Jackson Counties, NC are Anglicizations of the word, Soque or Sokee.

Miccosukee is the Anglicization of the Muskogee Creek pronunciation of the Itsate Creek and Itza Maya word, Mā : kō : sű : kē, which means “Leaders of the Soke.”

Jocasee is the Anglicization of the Itsate Creek word, Zokasi, which means “Descendants of the Zoque.”  It is a river name in the South Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a stream name near Birmingham, AL.

Maps of the Cherokee Nation after the American Revolution briefly showed a village named Joki or Jokee, immediately south of Hiwassee Island, TN.  This village moved to Arkansas in 1817 along with other Cherokee “Early Settlers” and disappeared from maps.

Itsate Creek speakers typically called the Soque either Soke or Saute.  The village of Sautee in the Nacoochee Valley was originally a couple of miles to the northeast of the Old Sautee Store.

Muskogee-Creek speakers typically called the Soque, Svki (pronounced Säu-gē).  Cherokee speakers typically used the same word, which is written in Anglicized Cherokee names as Saukee or Saugee.

The original name of the Broad River in Northeast Georgia was the Saukehatchee or Soque River.  Thus, in all probability the great Creek town of Wahasi (Rembert Mounds) near Elberton was originally a Soque capital.

Saugahatchee Creek in Lee County, AL is the Anglicization of the Muskogee-Creek words for Soque Creek.   Hatchee is the Anglicization for the Itza Maya and Creek word for a shallow river or large creek.

The Miccosukee state that they were the original Mayas and that the peoples now clumped together and labeled “Maya” learned civilization from them long before they fled the region and migrated to Southeastern North America.  The Miccosukee can still carry conversations with certain Maya bands in southern Vera Cruz and Tabasco States. In the 1940s, American archaeologist Mathew Sterling mistakenly labeled the ruins, he had discovered in Tabasco State as the Olmec Civilization.  The name stuck, even though the Olmecs were a Nahuatl People, who arrived in the region about 1500 years after the “Olmec” Civilization collapsed.

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma was founded by Soque-Creeks from Loachapoka, Alabama.  In their honor, as the Architect for the Trail of Tears Memorial in Council Oak Park in Tulsa, I arranged for cobblestones from Saugahatchee Creek in Loachapoka and the Etowah River, next to Etowah Mounds, to be place in the concrete base of the monument by a Keeper of the Creek Wind Clan, living in Broken Arrow, OK.  My Creek relatives, who moved to the Creek Nation, settled in Broken Arrow and Henrietta, OK.


The Miccosukee-Soque Migration Legend

According to Miccosukee History . . . which was originally written on an animal skin codex . . . their ancestors continued to live in the same region after the so-called Olmec Civilization collapsed.  They were treated disdainfully as barbarian vassals by the large Maya cities to the east, even though they gave these people their civilization.

Between around 800 AD and 1000 AD, warlike Nahuatl-speaking Chichimec barbarians invaded Tabasco and Chiapas after the explosion of the El Chichon super-volcano decimated the region and incinerated its capital,. Palenque.  These events triggered the mass emigration from the region, which soon resulted in bands of Mesoamericans settling in the Creek Homeland and along the Mississippi River. The invaders of Tabasco called themselves, Ōlmēcah. Ironically, the oppressors of the Zoque were assigned the name of the civilization created by the Zoque.

Many Zoque fled to the mountains, where their cousins the Mixtecs lived.   However, one band elected to flee north along the Great White Path, which bordered the Gulf of Mexico.  Along the way, they gathered other bands of peoples attacked by the Chichimecs. These bands became several of the divisions of the Creek Confederacy. In particular, the Zoque refugees developed a close relationship with a band of Itza Mayas from Chiapas. When they arrived in the Southern Highlands, some Itza chia cultivators, the Chiahaw  (Salvia/Chia River)  settled down in the Little Tennessee Valley of North Carolina, while other Itzas, who were accustomed to farming both mountainside terraces and river bottoms, settled in the mountain passes in North Central Georgia and the region around Murphy and Hayesville, NC.

The Soque settled east of the Nacoochee Valley in the Soquee River Basin and Upper Savannah River Basin, plus its tributaries.  There they developed an advanced culture which incorporated several other peoples, who had arrived in the region earlier.

When the Chiahaw, Itsate and Soque were forced out of the Southern Highlands, they migrated to southwest Georgia, which had been abandoned by the Arawak Peoples, which the Spanish incorrectly called Apalache.  Here the refugees became collectively known to British colonists as the Hitchiti Creeks. The “Hitchiti” Tribal Towns generally wanted to keep a separate identity within the Creek Confederacy. 

Even though the Hitchiti Creeks were allies of the new United States in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the United States treacherously seized their lands without compensation in the Treaty of Fort Jackson (1814).  This treaty was ostensibly with the hostile Red Stick Creeks, but the Georgia Muskogee Creeks gave away all the Hitchiti lands in Georgia, while keeping their own.  That act turned the Friendly Hitchiti Creeks into Hostile Seminole Creeks, thus creating a permanent schism, which continues to this day.

As hostilities with the Seminole Alliance intermittently inflamed, the Miccosukee moved farther and farther southward until they were in the southern tip of Florida,, where they are now a separate federally-recognized tribe.

Note that in 1673, Domus Regae was at the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River.

The Soque in Early American history

A 1673 map of eastern North America by English mapmaker, Robert Morden. has the words, Domus Regae  (House of the King) over the headwaters of the Savannah River in present-day Northeast Georgia. He showed the mountains of North Carolina to have been conquered by the Rickohockens.

By the time, exploration parties from the coast reached the region, the Soque were greatly diminished in numbers by both plagues and English-sponsored Rickohocken slave raids.  The Apalache Kingdom still remained, but its capital had moved north from the Upper Oconee River Basin in Gwinnett County, GA to Itstate, next to the Kenimer Mound in the Nacoochee Valley. Only the Soque communities in Habersham County, GA remained.  Carolina colonial records commented that the surviving Soque, east of the Savannah River, moved southward and formed an alliance with the Kusapo (Cusabo) Confederacy.  Ultimately, most of the surviving Kusapo members moved west and joined the Creek Confederacy.

South Carolina Soque’s ultimately settled in what is now Lee County, AL . . . north of Auburn.  They named their capital town Thloblocco.  It is now Waverly, AL.  Saugahatchee Creek,  named after the Soque, flows through Lee County.    As can be seen below, many members of the Thloblocco Creek Tribal Town in Oklahoma still resemble the famous stone figures, created by the “Olmec Civilization.”

The Miccosukee Tribe is composed of those of the Soque survivors in Northeast Georgia, who elected to move to Creek Indian territory in Southwest Georgia after 1784, when their remnant territory (now the northern half of Habersham County) was given to the Cherokee tribe. The southern half of what is now Habersham remained the territory of the Cusseta and Ustanauli Creeks until 1818.  The southern half of present day White County remained Chickasaw and Cusseta Creek until1818. 

Tsunu’lahun’ski (Junaluska)

The founding core of the Snowbird Cherokee Band in Graham County, NC originated as the remnant Soques in Rabun County, GA . . . east of the Little Tennessee River . . . who were forced out by the Cherokee Treaty of 1794, which gave their lands to Georgia.  The Uchees in the western half of Rabun were allowed to take allotments.  The Cherokee Soque lived for many years outside the boundaries of the Cherokee Tribe in Haywood County, just east of Soco Gap.

According to the provisions of an 1819 treaty with the United States, a Cherokee conjurer, Tsunu’lahun’ski (Junaluska) applied for 640 acre allotment on Sugar Creek near Franklin, North Carolina – 15 miles from where he grew up. When his land was usurped by white settlers, he moved to Soco Gap, and became a religious leader among the Soque Cherokees living there.  The only photo of Junaluska, taken when he was elderly with an amputated leg, shows physical features that are NOT Soque. 

Because Junaluska had saved Andrew Jackson’s life and later made possible the crushing victory of United States troops at the Battle Horseshoe Bend in 1813, their band was exempted from forced deportation to the Indian Territory.  They then moved to the eastern edge of the former Cherokee Nation in present day Graham County, NC. 

Cherokees, living on the main (Qualla) Reservation call Snowbird Cherokees by the pejorative name of “Moon faces” because they have physical features identical to the famous “Olmec” stone heads.  The joke is on the Qualla Cherokees.  Those features prove that the Snowbirds, like the Miccosukee, are descendants of the oldest known civilization in North America.

The Soque in contemporary history and anthropological texts

Several years ago, I had to dive into reports written in the 1970s by South Carolina academicians to discover the history of the Soque.   Those documents described the Soque or Sokee as the most powerful and culturally advanced indigenous people, when the coast of South Carolina was first settled. The Soque men flattened their foreheads and their tribe maintained many other Mesoamerican traits.  Unlike the Georgia Apalache, Muskogee and Upper Creeks . . . who were monotheistic . . . the Soque and their descendants, the Miccosukee, had multiple deities that matched typical deities of southern Mexico.  The South Carolina academic papers were very vague as to where the Soque lived.  Obviously, the Soque and their Itsate allies lived where the Cherokees lived later, but the academicians did not want to offend the Eastern Band of Cherokees, who now claim to have occupied the Southern Highlands for 12,000 years.

The current generation of anthropologists in South Carolina and Georgia seem completely clueless to the existence of the Soque or their importance in 1670, when the Carolina Colony was settled. I only found Soque mentioned a few times in a list of “Cherokee villages.” 

Cherokee or Wannabe Cherokee authored websites and history texts always list the Soque as a single village in the Cherokee tribe.  Several state that Soque is the Cherokee word for hill.  It is NOT.  That word is ga-du-si

One should be cautious when reading, Tell Them They Lie by Traveller Bird.  The identity of Traveller Bird is unknown and the book up front calls itself a book of Cherokee Legends . . . and those legends have been 700 miles from Northeast Georgia for at least 180 years.  The Cherokees last owned land, once occupied by the Soque, 200 years ago.  However, because I can translate Creek words that Cherokee authors label as “ancient Cherokee words, whose meanings have been lost,” I can delve important information from Bird’s text.   Not only that, I can translate Lower Cherokee, while Bird and contemporary Cherokee speakers either don’t have a clue what those words mean or provide inaccurate speculations that are not accurate.  It is very rare for Oklahoma Cherokee historians to have been anywhere in Georgia other than the Atlanta Airport and New Echota State Historic Site in the northwest part of the state.

Bird stated . . . “Soque was the second most important Cherokee town. Chota was the most important and the capital.  The headquarters of the Cherokee Scribe Society was in Soque.  It was referred to by Anglos as Serowee, Soquee, Skeequoyah or the Devil’s Gang Place.”   Note the similarity of Skeequoyah to Sequoyah.

This is where 200-year old Cherokee oral memory gets fuzzy.   The original Chote was where Helen, GA is today.  The capital of the Apalache Kingdom in the late 1600s was Itsate, which was located on and around the Kenimer Mound in the Nacoochee Valley.  Soque was located about three miles away on the Soque River.   However, a town on the Lower Tennessee River was established as a colony of these capital towns, which was also called Itsate, but by the 1830s was called Chote.   This Chote did become a principal town of the Cherokees, but was generally known by its English name of Chota. The Nacoochee Valley was definitely in Creek territory until the Creek-Cherokee War began in early 1716.

Later in the book, Bird said something astounding . . .  “1717 marked the ending of the old Appalachian Confederacy.”  This is the only statement, published in the 20th century that acknowledges the existence of the Apalache Kingdom. However, the alliance ended in December 1715, when a delegation of proto-Cherokees killed 32 proto-Creek leaders in their sleep, while they were at a friendly diplomatic conference in the Uchee village of Tugaloo.  The Appalachian Confederacy was not a “Cherokee Thang” as stated by Bird.  Apalache is what the Creeks were still calling themselves in 1735, when they met with leaders of the new colony in Savannah. Bird blamed the breakdown of the Confederacy on the machinations “of English traders, who had learned the important role that women played among the Cherokees.”

In 1658, French ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort, wrote that the confederacy created by the Apalache in the 1600s stretched from what is now southwestern Virginia to present day southwest Georgia.  So what Traveller Bird is really telling us is that the villages and towns that the Cherokees captured in the early 1700s, were in the territory of Apalache in much of the 1600s.

According to the research done by archaeologist and anthropology professor, John E. Worth, Cherokee slave-raiders typically killed all males of military age when they captured a town.  Older women were killed or enslaved.  Children and younger women were enslaved.  Cherokee men would typically keep the most attractive teenage girls as concubines then sell the rest at the slave markets in Charleston.  Thus, a teenager’s memory of the cultural traditions of another tribe were entered into the collective cultural memories of the Cherokee tribe.  Eventually,  several Cherokee bands were dancing the Stomp Dance, without knowing that it symbolized the migration of the ancestors of the Creeks from southern Mexico . . . or they celebrated a simple version of the Green Corn Festival without knowing that it was introduced by Tamauli People of Tabasco. Over time, watered-down versions of Creek tradition became Cherokee traditions.

And 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.



    Amazing amount of facts and information you have listed here. It’s hard to understand how any serious historian could ignore it. Keep those fires burning till everyone can see the the light of the truth.

    • The Nacoochee Valley is a place with lots of community spirit and people, who love to take walks. We will be able to have many POOF outdoors events there with the participation of residents.


    “old time” families in this region are showing up with Portuguese and Jewish DNA markers ” Richard, I suspect the Basque, Jews and the Knights of Christ of Portugal have played a part in the history of that area when I saw a “St. Johns cross” tattoo on a Cherokee (Che-ra-ki?) of the 17th century. Juna-luska (who wore a wizard hat) name reminds me of what the Sun priest of the Apalache were called “Jona” and “Luska” sounds a lot like part of the name of Tuska-lusa who was using what the Spaniards called the St. John’s cross in 1540. Also Soque has a certain spelling connection (in English) to Basque (que) for some reason. Amazing!!! how many connections there are that so many learned men over looked?
    To me, it’s not if but when did the different groups of Western Europe arrive….with your insight about Gaelic words found being used by Native peoples…it would seem like a long time ago. 200 BC at least based on the same bronze age Earth work found in Wales and Ohio….the Stonehenge’s that are the same as well so now we are back to 10,000 – 3000 BC. Thanks for your Great articles.

    • Thank you! I added an old photograph of Junaluska to the article after your comment.


        Richard, Notice the “ska” at the end of Junaluska name? The Tuscarora were called Ani-Ska-la-li by the Cherokee’s. The Tuscarora are believed to have lived on the Eastern side of Georgia at one time and moved to North Carolina. The Issa (Katawba) moved from Georgia to South Carolina. It’s possible that Tuskalu-sa (ska) in Alabama (1540) was of that Nation. Some must have joined the Cherokee’s. The Delaware, I believe you have stated, called the Cherokee’s a name that would imply a connection with the ancient Tōltēcah (Toltecs).
        I have revisited my understanding of the Caral Peru Temple shape… it was the same top symbol the Aztecs artwork gave to the Toltecs that you found in a burial site at Etowah (E Tula), Georgia. Most likely the Chiska and the Apalache migrated to Georgia/ Tenn. in the 1300’s when the Mexica arrived to the Mexico city area. Some arrived by boats up the Chattahoochee river where their king Kukulkan had gone before the 1300’s migration. The Totecs Nobles could have called themselves Para-Ku-she. Notice the symbol around his neck matches the Caral (Para) temple?

        • Just remember Mark that Junaluska was the man’s Anglicized name. I also put in his real name. Virtually all the Native American place names and even, personal names, in the Southeast were Anglicized. For example, Muskogee is really Mvskoke. Tomachichi was really Tvmvchichi. etc.


            Richard, Thanks again for your reply. The Cherokee did use the “Ska” sounds / spelling for the Tuscarora Nation. The Cherokees incorporated (14 bands at one time) and Mvskoke Creeks have connections to many ancient peoples that eventfully formed their confederacy. Because of your research both groups are related to the old Bronze age Sea peoples of Peru, Europe and Itza / Issa Maya. The peoples of Peru used both Bronze and Silver for tools but curiously over looked were the artifacts found in North America.
            By drawing a line from Teotihuacan (road of the God’s?) pyramids (aligned off North by 16 degrees) could run to another ancient trade city (Pahaca) along the Mississippi. That city aligned with Yupaha and then the ancient city by the Savanna river: Apalache-cora? and then back to Teotihuacan making a triangle shape. A triangle symbol is associated with Tanit” (Achaean “Minoan” / Phoenician (bronze age goddess) called “Amana” by the Apalache and the Gaelic Euro’s. The Cherokee’s Ani-Ku tani seems to be a name match for her priest band and the lost written Mediterranean script connection when they were killed off by the Cherokees. Some of the Armenians had settled in Eastern Turkey then Cyprus (triangular temples) connections with Georgia. Where she first began to be worshiped? could have been in the bronze age Americas or Europe.
            The Nobles / priest of those 4 ancient cities noted were most likely the Para-ku-shi from Peru (Para) who somehow could align Temples / cities over long distances. (as you discovered!)



            The symbols of these Armenian coins match the Knight Templar coins of France? a likely clue where they got their riches from.

          • The original word was ani-kitani. Would you believe that kitani is the Archaic Alabamu word for the priest, who started and maintained the sacred fires in the temples. It comes from kituya, a verb meaning to ignite a fire. The kitani started the fires with magnifying glasses . . . thus seeming to be performing magic with the aid of the Sun Goddess.


    Fascinating post Richard as always. It’s unbelievable how much of your history has not been published . Nice that you are trying to change all that which is necessary for future generations to know. It sounds extremely interesting where you have moved your home to. Best wishes.


    Very interesting. I am finding in my own research,that a whole lot of nacoochee valley peoples moved to south central Alabama/northwest Florida, as did a bunch of Catawba and cheraw peoples, before the forced native removals( as did the ancestors of the MOWA band of choctaws) . My Lantern family comes from just north of Alec Mountain ( according to,some,georgia land stuff from the early1800s, people who were ” white ” on 1850 census, mulatto on 1870 census).

    Could that be a Sokee name instead of a Cherokee name ?

    • My understanding is that all of the Sokee land became part of Habersham County in 1818. The Sokee had an option of moving westward and occupying less desirable land among the Cherokees, who had a different language and customs, or moving to Central Alabama, which was Creek territory, but was virtually unoccupied.


    Richard, The ani-Ki-Tani (Thanks for the correction) must have been welcomed as priests among many peoples of the South East. Thanks again for your Great Articles!


    Hey Richard,
    I found this article today stating that 2 scientist in Peru have traced the 2 versions of the Inca creation story back and have tied them together. They were using DNA to trace groups to a common ancestor. I hope the DNA info the scientist gathered can help be used as test markers by the commercial labs. Here’s the link

    I’m glad you are getting settled, sounds like your new house fits you well.

    • What? Leaking in all the roof valleys and needing a new paint job? LOL


        Hey Richard,
        You sound like me and every other happy homeowner out there! I have been moving also so my list grows every day.
        At least this house has a roof and no rats (I hope). The location near the stone circle, the carins, being visited by your ancestors, it sounds like a good place for you to be living. About a month ago I went to a family reunion of my fathers side of the family near Dublin Ga. 2 cousins and I went out to the small family cemetery near the place our fathers grew up. While there, as we were talking about a ggg uncle that was married to one of our ggg Aunts buried at this cemetery, the most peaceful warm loving feeling came over the 3 of us at the same time. I have no doubt it was the spirit of this Aunt saying hello. Both of my cousins agree, that we had a visit with this Aunt. It was a wonderful feeling, I hope when your ancestors visit you get the same feelings from them and they will help protect you from harm.
        Thank you and hope to go on a hike with you and other POOF members this fall.


    Richard, One of the Miami? Nations “Ca-ho-ki” of the Northern Midwest should be related to the Miami people that live in Southern Florida with the same sounds in their names. The “Ca-ho-ki-a” sounds a lot like “Jz-hō: kē” and Micco- (Jz-hō: kē)…even though its not clear who built the Cahokia city starting around 600 AD and lasting till 1300 AD it is known there was a massive increase in population in the 1100 AD time period. That’s the time that Tula (100,000 people city) in Mexico collapsed. It’s likely the “Tula” people that met De Soto in battle in 1541 were located around Spiro which must have been on a major trade road from Tula going to Pahaca. When Cahokia collapsed in the 1300’s new groups of peoples arrived to Georgia in 1250?
    The pottery of both locations should match if some of the Cahokia people migrated to Georgia. It would seem the Kanza and the jz-ho-ke were some of the groups that migrated in that time period to North East Georgia and Ocmulgee. These major Civilizations of the Jz-ho-ke, Maya cities, Teotihuacan, Tula seem to have followed ancient trade roads to build new colonies.

    • Actually, just the opposite occurred. All Mississippian traits appeared much earlier in southern Florida and Georgia, before they appeared at Cahokia. All the Great Plains “earthlodge” Siouans have migration legends, which begin either in South Carolina, NW Georgia, NE Alabama or the Gulf Coast then have them migrating westward in the late 1600s or early 1700s.


        I have not studied the age of the shell mounds from the Florida panhandle through Mobile Alabama to New Orleans. But it seems that the tremendous amount of shell heaps would have supported a very large population. Possibly in the millions. The old shell road in Mobile was repaved with shells four times a year. The shell mounds in Jacksonville Florida can still be harvested if on private property. It’s already been established that these mounds are not natural but man made.

        So the question is what is the estimate of how many people these mounds supported, what happened to them and when. Could this have been the population that migrated from the Gulf Coast to the Mississippi valley.

        • That is a good question. No one is really addressing it. Apparently, in the case of the Soque, they remained in the Southeast. Some of them became ancestors of the Creek and Seminole Peoples.


        Richard, True… it would seem South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida would been nice places to live during the ice age when man started arriving across the Atlantic… that would be a Good reason why so many ancient migrations lore origins start from there? Perhaps those ancient trade roads started in the South by rivers were the Trade city locations. It would seem the First North American cities began by the Sea and the Gulf. Some of those peoples seem to have migrated back to the South over time.
        Curiously the Nobles families of the different Maya peoples traced their linage back to the city Tikal. The Nobles of Lakamha/ Palenque (“Big Water”) traced their linage back somewhere else? Pa-kal “the Great” married into the “Toktahn” linage family. Notice the Pa sounds in Pa-ha-ca, Yu-pa-ha, Tam-pa, A-Pa-la-che, Pa-ra-ku shi, both the Tokah and Parakushi peoples end up in Georgia. Always Great articles from you Richard!


    Richard, hi, my name is Charlie Jonson. I also went to Georgia Tech and graduated in 1973. Your knowledge of all this history is just fantastic. I wanted to let you know about some late Tech folks from North Georgia. They were the godparents of my little brother, an Emory grad and now a diagnostic radiologist. John and Glenn Larowe were the Tech folks. John was an architecture grad. Glen was head nurse at the Tech infirmary in the early 60’s. She was a full blooded Cherokee. They bought Grandpa Watt’s cornmill on the Soque River in Helen and made it into Mark of the Potter, a pottery place. They had an A frame on the peninsula at Lake Burton where Charlie Mountain is. John co-authored a book entitled “Somethin’s Cookin’ in the Mountains” which has recipes from all the restaurants in North Georgia. The book can be found on Amazon. I live in Charleston County now on Folly Beach NE of Kiawah Island, named after the Kee Wah indians. Right off the island SW of there is Wadmalaw Island, and then to the SW Wadmalaw Sound, and then to the SW Edisto Island. At the northern tip of Edisto is an island called Fig Island. This is a shell mound island older than the Egyptian pyramids. There is an opening in the main island there facing the Winter solstice, apparently to let warm sunlight through in the Winter. So there’s alot of history around here also in addition to North Georgia. My little brother’s wife has Lumbee ancestry. Without a doubt there’s alot of indian influence around the southeast. My neighbors across the street have a house near Asheville in a remote area in the mountains, with bears, and they found an arrowhead while planting blueberry plants on a hillside there on their acreage. I told them to contack you. She is a Furman grad about your age, a few years older than me, graduating before I went to Tech. Anyway, just wanted to say hi. My folks have died now as did the Larowes. My dad was a Tech grad of 1951. See ya man.

    • Very interesting. I had to take the a course in ceramics at a studio in Buckhead, prior to going to Mexico from the people who later bought or started Mark of the Potter. They were Jewish though, not Cherokee. We did a series of articles about Fig Island a couple of years ago. I created the first three computer model of the site. You can look it up in our archives. Very busy doing physical work right now – fixing up a fixer upper, but will try to get online to answer comments and questions. Good to hear from you. RT


        I’m glad you found it interesting. I had to take a course in Ceramic Engineering at Tech. Glen asked me who my prof was and I told her Hansard, she knew him. John and Glen started the pottery store when they bought it as a fixer upper. Glen was Cherokee, John was probably French Hugenot since his last name was pronounced Laroo. They made motorless kickwheels and John sold them. I will look up Fig Island in the archives. Wow, looking up stuff here and online sure beats going to the card catalog at Price Gilbert and then going to wherever in there you article was. I just finished a 5 month remodelling on my digs here across the street from the ocean so I sympathize with you. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Confucious.

        • A condition of the Barrett Fellowship to study in Mexico was that I take a course in Ceramic Engineering under Hansard, a course in Ceramic History taught by a GSU prof, one course in sculptural ceramics taught by Tech Architecture-Art Professor Julian Harris and a course in pottery making taught by the Winocus/


    I live in Rabun and would love to learn more about these ancient finds in my area. Could you let me know of where to find some more info about these? I am really interested in finding this large stone turtle effigy.


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