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Something else is REALLY bothering me about the Track Rock petroglyphs

Something else is REALLY bothering me about the Track Rock petroglyphs


All those circular symbols with tails can be found on the Bronze Age petroglyphs of southern Sweden!

We have some really sharp readers on POOF these days.  I would appreciate your comments. I am working on a lecture this fall in Michigan and I can’t decide what to say about the petroglyphs in North Georgia. In February 2017,  I analyzed my photographs of the Tugaloo Stone at Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site in Toccoa, GA and realized that there were at least three Bronze Age ships on it.  They were identical to the Bronze Age petroglyphs of ships in Southwest Sweden,  where I lived just after graduating from Georgia Tech.  That alone will rock somebody’s world.


THEN,  just a few days before I was to give a lecture in the Nacoochee Valley,  I realized that the most important symbol on the Bronze Age petroglyphs near where I lived in Sweden was identical to the Maya AND Creek glyph for “Great Sun” or High King. 

On the left is the Nacoochee petroglyphic boulder, which is actually a spear shaped stela. In the middle is one of the earliest “Olmec” stelas.   The ornate design of the Nacoochee stone is quite comparable to Olmec/early Maya stelas. On the right is a Neolithic Age Swedish stela.

There is also a large linear “petroglyphic” boulder, which is identical to the stela erected by Bronze Age and Iron Age occupants of the Nordic region.   The Bronze Age Swedes were not ethnic Scandinavians, but had black hair and Uchee-like features.  I had to alter my slide show for the folks in the Nacoochee Valley.   The “White County petroglyphic boulder” was actually a stela erected vertically in the ground.

The problem is that those symbols and stelae in Sweden, Denmark and Norway date back at least to 1200 BC, perhaps 1800 BC or earlier.  The same glyphs at the Itza capital of Palenque are dated at about 600 AD to 800 AD.  The Creeks were still using that symbol into the 1700s AD.  That symbol is on Boulder Six at Track Rock.


Okay . . . here we go  . . . on Boulder Six are four Maya glyphs that can easily be translated as Mako Hene Ahau Kukulkan  or “Great Sun ~ Lord Quetzal-Serpent.  My presumption was that Itza refugees or some folks akin to them carved these glyphs to mark their territory at Track Rock Gap.  

HOWEVER . . . note the boulders at Track Rock several have footprints carved into them ON TOP of the “Maya” glyphs.  I have seen the same footprints on several petroglyphic boulders along the Upper Etowah River.  Until this year, I assumed that someone conquered the region around the Track Rock Terrance Complex then carved footprints over the older glyphs to say “Hey, we walked all over these people.

In this Bronze Age Swedish petroglyph footprints are mixed in with boats also seen on the Tugaloo Stone.

That is probably not the situation.   Closer examination of petroglyph sites in southern Sweden, southern Norway and eastern Denmark revealed that the footprint petroglyphs were extremely common there. Scandinavian archaeologists are not sure what the footprints mean, but very few are carved over older glyphs.   So what we have at Track Rock is an assemblage of petroglyphs on six boulders that can also be found on Scandinavian petroglyphs, carved during the Bronze Age.  The Southern Highlands are obviously hiding many secrets under their surface.

This is one of the things, which is disturbing me.  The petroglyphic boulders in North Georgia appear to have been built by peoples from Northern Europe around 1200 BC to 800 BC.  That coincides with the first appearance of the Deptford Culture in Savannah.  The Deptford Culture probably represents the arrival of the Uchee, since they also say that they arrived on the South Atlantic Coast at Savannah.   However, several of the symbols on Track Rock boulders are also glyphs in the Maya writing system, which first appeared around 100-200 AD.  That means that some of the earliest symbols in the Maya writing system were being used in the Southern Highlands of the United States over a thousand years before they were carved into stone in Mexico!



What your teacher never told you about the Olmec Civilization

Reference articles are usually written by specialists, who are focused on their specific area of expertise.  Your history book from high school, was written by a generalist, who gleaned bits of information from articles, written by the specialists.  In the case of the Olmec Civilization, the American public has a very distorted understanding of its history as a result.

The official beginning and ending dates for the Olmec Civilization are 1400 BC to 500 BC.   Recently, archaeologists have discovered a village on the northern fringe of the “Olmec Heartland,” which was radiocarbon dated to around 1600 BC.  It was founded a few decades later than Poverty Point, Louisiana, but for several centuries Poverty Point was a far more impressive place than any of the “Olmec” villages.

Poverty Point Mound A is larger than almost all the mounds built by the Olmec Civilization and 500-700 years older.


(1)  The Olmec People did not build the Olmec Civilization.  They were nowhere around.  The Olmecs were a Nahuatl people, who arrived in southern Vera Cruz about 1500 years after the Olmec Civilization collapsed.  North American archaeologist, Mathew Stirling, coined the term, when he first identified an ancient civilization in southern Vera Cruz and northern Tabasco States, Mexico. 

Mexican archaeologists now are convinced that the Zoque-Mixtec people were progenitors of the “Olmec” Civilization.  The Zoque-Mixtec People were living in southern Mexico at least as early as 3100 BC . . . probably much longer.   Africans did NOT found the Olmec Civilization.  There are descendants of the “Olmec” civilization in Mexico and in the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, who look exactly like the famous “Olmec” heads.  Thlopthlocco was originally located in the region around Auburn and Waverly, Alabama.

According to Maya tradition, the Olmec Civilization was founded by a people, who arrived in three large flotillas from across the Gulf Mexico.   Archaeological evidence does not support the sudden appearance of newcomers around 1400 BC, but rather an indigenous people become steadily more sophisticated.  The “three flotillas of canoes” legend probably was derived by the arrival of a people from the Southeastern United States, who knew how to make pottery and build large mounds.

(2) During the first half of its existence, the Olmec Civilization can best be defined by its major advances in agriculture, not its architecture.  Olmec “pyramids” look exactly like Muskogean mounds in the Southeast. There were never any stone buildings in the Olmec cities.  Most of the famous stone carvings associated with the Olmec Civilization date from the latter half of its existence, when the region’s cultural sophistication exploded.



(3) The Zoque People of Mexico are the same people as the Soque, Miccosukee and Thlothplocco Peoples of the United States. Most of the Soque and all of the Thlopthlocco became members of the Creek Confederacy. Soque and Zoque are pronounced the same, Jzho-ke.   The Miccosukee Migration Legend begins in the heartland of the Olmec Civilization.  Apparently, after the Olmec Civilization collapsed, a more aggressive people, who were into human sacrifice invade that land.  The ancestors of the Soque began hoofing northward along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico until they ultimately reached Northeast Georgia and Northwest South Carolina.

(4) The Great Mound at Poverty Point, Louisiana was about 6-700 years old before the Olmecs began constructing any mounds that approached the scale of the largest one at Poverty Point. 

(5) The people of the Olmec Civilization did not start making pottery until at least 900 BC.   The oldest pottery in Georgia dates from around 2400 BC.  Although the people of Poverty Point knew how to fire clay balls to use for cooking, they did not make any pottery until near the end of the village’s occupation.

(6) The oldest mound in Georgia, Bilbo in Savannah, dates from around 3545 BC, which about the same age as the oldest mound in Peru.  The oldest known mounds in Louisiana, Watson Brake, date from around 3450 BC.   Mound building did not begin in southern Mexico until around 1200 BC or later.  Georgia’s Bilbo Mound is not mentioned in national references because at the time Louisiana archaeologist, William Haag,  obtained the ancient date for the Bilbo Mound, Georgia archaeologists did not think it was possible, so subsequent generations of archaeology students were never told about it.  Haag later obtained the ancient date for Poverty Point, but Louisiana archaeologists supported his finding in that case.

This tablet was found by archaeologist, Robert Wauchope, near the entrance to Eleanor Dare’s tomb in the Nacoochee Valley, Georgia.

7.  Many of the symbols found on the Cascajal Block, the oldest known example of Olmec writing, can also be found in Proto-Creek art, such as the Squirrel Mountain Tablet.   The Squirrel Mountain tablet is probably an example of the Apalache Writing System.  We will soon find out.   My assumption was always that the branches of the Creek Confederacy brought such symbolism up from the Gulf Coast of Mexico.  Now I don’t know.   The evidence is pointing the other direction.  

It seems that the ancestors of the Uchee were the progenitors of the Olmec and Maya civilizations.  For indeed, until after around 800 BC,  the indigenous people of the Deptford Culture (aka Uchee) were no less advanced that the Olmec Civilization, except in the area of agriculture.  The tropical climate of southern Mexico enabled peoples there to grow crops year round and thus sustain much larger populations.  Once agriculture was firmly established, southern Mexico leaped ahead of the Southeast culturally.  

Whatever the real history of those times long ago is,  it cannot be denied that the glyph for a king on the Oresund Channel in Scandinavia in 1200 BC was the symbol for a Great Sun (king) in the Maya city of Palenque in 700 AD and a Great Sun in Etula (Etowah Mounds, GA) in 1000 AD.

The truth is out there somewhere.


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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.



    let me comment on this. The Bronze Age proper ran from 2500 BC through 1159 BC when copper mining was abandoned on Lake Superior. Troy happened 20 years earlier in theBaltic. Those black haired swedes then known as Danians mostly walked down to the Aegean and took over all the towns and villages there immediately after 1159 BC when a twenty year cropdisaster made their lands inhabitable.

    Obviously they also took ship to establish colonies in Georgia and in LakeSuperior as described fully in the Kolbrin bible at the same time. .

    • Most folks don’t know this, but the Georgia Mountains has copper and natural brass deposits in the same area where the gold is mined.

  2. theoldlibrary19@YAHOO.CO.UK'

    OMG !! This is so interesting, but I would not know where to begin. Have the tablets been deciphered Richard ?

    • No we have not been able to translate any of the Creek writing. That is why I am trying to find the bison vellum. Since I have the English translation, I will be able to reverse engineer the writing system.


        I went to Young Harris College in the late ’70’s near Track Rock Gap and I do not have the words to tell you how fascinating all of these revelations are to me. I have read that some think that Track Rock boulder carvings were merely the “doodles” of bored indigenous hunters. Has any connection been confirmed between the Track Rock Gap boulders and the lost city? Is it possible that these Track Rock Gap boulders were upright at one time and there are more carvings on the other sides?

        How much of the downhill area and beyond are under government jurisdiction? Is it possible to do professional archaeological excavations in lower downhill areas without having to seek government permission? I am thinking that since the lost city is on such an uphill slant that over the past 1000 years most of the original artifacts may have been swept down and deposited to the bottom of the mountain (and beyond) under hundreds of years of dirt and clay layers.

        • MANY, MANY artifacts and human skeletons were found when the Georgia State Dept. of Transportation constructed what is now Track Rock Gap Road. Originally, it was a state highway. No one knows what happened to all the artifacts. Somebody covered up all this because they didn’t want the public to know that there was a large proto-Creek town at Track Rock Gap. The land around the gap and petroglyphs are owned by the federal government. However, just across the street from the petroglyphs is privately owned land. In fact earlier this year that property was for sale.


            I was wondering about that private land around and near Track Rock Gap! I remember that one of our Young Harris College legends back in the ’70’s was that there was an abandoned “haunted” house on the road to Track Rock Gap (actually, the story was even more embellished that “devil worshippers” squatted there.) One of our college rituals was to dare each other to go into that abandoned old house, especially at night. It was indeed creepy, and inside there was graffiti that could be interpreted as possibly “satanic”. Back then, viewing the indigenous boulder carvings was a side-trip to our main mission of scaring ourselves silly!

            So, any chance that an organized “Friends of Track Rock Gap Lost City” can buy that property for sale? 😉

          • I don’t know about devil worshipers, but I caught paramilitary types playing Rambo on the side of the mountain near the Track Rock ruins. You will have to talk with the realtor concerning whether the property is still for sale. If so, yes “Friends of Track Rock” could buy the property. I saw the “For Sale” sign in November 2016.


            P.S. there is no organized “Friends of Track Rock Gap Lost City”, but thought it would be much better idea for such a like-minded group to purchase the private property (rather than “satanic squatters” & Rambo-types, lol)


    Hey Richard,
    As you have said many times ” I go where the evidence leads me”. Well follow this out until you find evidence that changes this theory.
    Those hills have a deep dark history.


    Is anything written on the back/bottom of the Nacoochee stone?

    • I don’t know. It is just sitting out on a lawn on the campus of the University of Georgia, where it was moved to be essentially, landscaping. The stela should be inside a museum where it can be protected from the elements.


    Richard, do you have a non-public link I can send a picture to you of what I believe to be a petroglyph that I have recently discovered. I would very much like your opinion.

    • Yes, I will contact you. When I give the email address here, spam tractor files pick it up.


    I’ve read several of your articles that mention petroglyphs near Talking Rock Creek. Can you please elaborate or (provide a link) some insight? I’ve traced Talking Rock Creek (the opposite direction of Little Egypt) toward Big Canoe and it appears to dead end north of Bent Tree near the Fainting Goat Vineyards near Mount Oglethorpe. Long Swamp Creek also has much history with relation to the Indian Mounds south of Tate. I’ve read your writings on the fictional battle of Taliwa too. Please respond when you can. Thanks.

    • Chris, I never saw them. I suspect that they are on the lower end where there are some cliffs. While living near Talking Rock, GA, I talked to several old timers who claimed to have seen them as kids, before most of the landowners put up (Posted – No Trespassing) signs. The oldtimers described the petroglyphs as “looking like Maya writing,” but I don’t know how accurate those statements were.


    I attended Young Harris from 1975-1977. One day a group of us, all guys, happened upon that satan worship house along TrackRock Gap Road. We left our car up on the road and walked down to it. It was a wood-framed house. The windows were placed in such a way that it made a face – Two windows for the eyes, one for the nose, and one for the mouth. At each corner of the eaves, there were cutouts of wooden hands nailed there. We went inside. The house was set up like a typical home, but in one room a section of the flooring was purposely removed and the ground exposed below. Upstairs the walls were covered with graffiti and words saying terrible things about God, Jesus, and Mary. On the ground floor there we less of that. When we came out of the house, there was a man standing about 200 yards away watching us. We left quickly. A couple of weeks later we got some girls to come along with us and we went back to the house. It was night time and raining. Again, we parked up on the road and walked down to the house. We got as far as the house, but all of lost our nerve and did not enter. I have looked on google earth at the spot where I think it was located. But I do not see it.

    • Something like that happened to me at Georgia Tech. Our Naval Officer Training Unit was going door to door collecting for “Toys for Tots” at Christmastime. We came up to a big mansion across the street from Colony Square. Inside a group of very glamorous people in black robes were worshiping in a satanic ritual around a pentagram that had been created with white tape on the living room floor. Two of the women were Hollywood actresses from that era. Actually, they were very nice and gave us more money than all the other houses in Ansley Park combined. However, there was a very “dark” feeling inside of the house and I couldn’t wait to get away from there. You many of us Creeks can read people’s souls. Some of the people there had black souls, destined for hell, but most had gray souls . . . which we define as being “confused” and “separated from the Master of Life.”


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