Satellite image during 2016 drought reveals probable mounds of Chiaha
The record breaking drought in the Southern Appalachians, which resulted in horrific forest fires and even a fire storm in Gatlinburg, TN, did result in one unexpected benefit. It lowered the waters of Fontana Lake sufficiently to reveal earthworks on an island, which is the probable location of Chiaha. What is especially remarkable about the image is that the mounds are arranged in a semi-circle on the eastern end of the island, just like the arrangement of the mounds of Kusa, which was contemporary with Chiaha and also visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition in 1540.
In 2010 and 2011, former National Park Service Director, Roger Kennedy, subsidized my search for the routes used by the De Soto Expedition in 1540 and the Pardo Expeditions in 1566-1568 through the North Carolina Mountains. I became convinced that the location of Chiaha was directly north of Cheoah Mountain in Graham or Swain Counties NC because it matched every geographic detail provided by the chroniclers of these expeditions, plus had the Anglicized place name of Cheoah attached to that region. However, since the location had been under the waters of Fontana Lake since 1942 and no archaeological studies had occurred prior to that time, it seemed impossible to go any further with the speculation.
Then in 2015, the United States Geological Survey digitized and published its 1904 topographic maps of western North Carolina. A long island was shown immediately downstream from the confluence of the Little Tennessee and Tuckasegee Rivers. This matched exactly the description of Chiaha. Still, without the ability to see under the water to this island today, the location seemed even more probable, but not provable without underwater archaeological studies.
Just recently, ERSI embedded new high resolution NASA satellite imagery into its GIS software. The images included highly magnified photos of western North Carolina. Earlier, POOF showed you massive earthworks in Tomatla, NC near Murphy that had never before appeared on satellite imagery. The new high resolution view also happened to be photographed during the drought. Three mounds and interconnecting earthworks appeared on the eastern end of our supposed Chiaha Island. They reflect a similar site plan at Kusa in Northwest Georgia, when the Lower Reservoir of Carters Lake, which was drained for one day in 2006. Bingo!
What about the Chiaha article in Wikipedia?
It is malarkey created in the 1980s, by some Southeastern anthropology professors, who decided that De Soto and Pardo had to go through Asheville, NC for financial and possible occult reasons . . . then ignored the archaeological facts when publishing their books. The Zimmerman Island location in Tennessee was covered by the waters of Lake Douglas in 1943 without being studied by archaeologists. No archaeological work was done here because the rush to develop electric power for the Oak Ridge Laboratories’ secret role in the atomic bomb project. The island contained some probable, small Woodland or Archaic Period burial mounds and shell middens, but they were in the center of the island, not on the upstream end as described by De Soto’s chroniclers.
State archaeologists and the local historic preservation commission in Asheville told these professors to their faces that there were NO occupied Mississippian Period towns in the French Broad River Valley during the mid-1500s and that Cherokees NEVER lived in the Asheville Area. It was Shawnee Country until whites occupied the region. The local officials in Asheville were astonished that the visiting professors (all with PhD’s in either anthropology or history) did not know the meanings of any of the Native American words in the De Soto Chronicles, plus could not even pronounce the Spanish words correctly . . . much less, know the meanings of the Spanish words. Nevertheless, the professors gave a press conference that afternoon at the Biltmore Estate, which announced that state and local historic preservation officials had endorsed their route for De Soto through Asheville and that the three feet tall Biltmore Mound was the site of the ancient capital of the Great Cherokee Nation, Guasuli/Guaxule, where De Soto spent the night.
Archaeological work at the Biltmore Mound between 2001 and 2003 by a team from Appalachian State University confirmed that the small village, where De Soto spent the night in 1540 was actually abandoned around 550 BC.
The professors also stated that the village of Conasaugua was where Reems Creek joins the French Broad River near Weaverville, NC. There was never a Mississippian Period village at that location. It was an Archaic and Woodland Period fishing and mussel gathering camp site. It is impossible to put accurate archaeological and linguistic information in the Wikipedia articles on the De Soto and Pardo Expeditions. Zealous disciples of those Late 20th century archaeological gurus, quickly return the articles to their current fraudulent state.
This news article begins a new series in the People of One Fire, which will provide readers with all the updated information on the presence of Itza Maya immigrants into the Lower Southeastern United States. The series honors the fifth anniversary of the premier of America Unearthed on December 21, 2012. My have things have changed!
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