The Bronze Age Connection . . . a snapshot of our research today
The April Fool’s joke was on me folks . . . never be absolutely sure of ANYTHING!
The Uchee, Southern Shawnee, Chickasaw, Alabama, Creeks, Cherokee and Seminole are NOT solely the descendants of aboriginal peoples in North America. Any geneticist, who analyzes DNA samples with that assumption, are going to end up misinterpreting the genetic profile. They are the result of many peoples from across Asia, the Americas and western Europe, mixing over the eons then their minute number of survivors, after the European Disease Holocaust, forming alliances that the young United States later recognized as tribes. In particular, the Uchee, Southern Shawnee, Muskogee-Creek, Cherokee and Seminole provide linguistic evidence of ancient immigration from Bronze Age Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland. Indeed, the Shawnee, Muskogee and Cherokee suffix for “tribe or people” is the Irish Gaelic word for “tribe or people.”
During the era, when I was a college student, several authors, mostly from Europe, made popular the belief that Extraterrestrials, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Libyans, Sumerians, Chinese or “Vikings” had been responsible for all the great civilizations of the Americas. All authors shared the assumption that indigenous Americans lacked the intelligence to create a civilization. Never mind that about 70% of the vegetables consumed by people around the world today, were first domesticated by indigenous Americans. The authors knew nothing about the languages and cultural history of indigenous Americans, when making these claims. They had no idea that the oldest pyramids in the world are in Peru and the oldest geometrically arranged mounds are in Georgia, Louisiana, Peru and Brazil. As a result, I have been extremely hostile since then to all proposals that any people from the Old World settled in the Americas before the Early Middle Ages, when Scandinavians arrived in the Maritime Provinces and a relatively small band of Irish refugees settled on the South Atlantic Coast near Savannah. Then . . . exactly a year ago, I came to the astonishing conclusion that most of the petroglyphs in North Georgia were identical to either those in southwestern Ireland or southern Scandinavia!
Who would have thought?
But then . . . a year ago I discovered that most of the Georgia petroglyphs are identical to European Bronze Age petroglyphs and that the Tugaloo Stone portrays three Bronze Age European ships, plus Scandinavian Bronze Age astronomical symbols. Everything changed.
Let’s make something clear. The earliest mounds in Georgia, Louisiana and Peru predate the oldest mounds in northern and western Europe. The stonehenges in Canada predate by 500 years their earliest manifestation in the British Isles. No one knows how old the stone circles are on mountaintops in Georgia, because no archaeologist has attempted to do radiocarbon testing at any of these sites. Thus, the evidence suggests a two way cultural communication between eastern North America and northwestern Europe that seems to have ended during the Late Bronze Age.
Discoveries of Roman coins and Irish Iron Age ogham writing (c. 50 BC – 600 AD) in the Appalachian Plateau do provide evidence that small parties of Europeans arrived in North America at later dates, but there is no evidence of a later cultural influence from Europe on North America. During the Middle and Late Woodland Periods, we see a profound influence from Amazonia and eastern Peru on the Lower Southeast. Also, the way that human figures are portrayed by the Hopewell and Copena Cultures suggests at least indirect influence from Teotihuacan.
Let’s take a look at what we know at this time. As research continues there will probably be more observations and a greater understanding of the Southeast’s past.
North Georgia petroglyphs: Most of the petroglyphs in North Georgia are identical to Bronze Age petroglyphs in Europe. Georgia contains the purest gold in the world. Given that its gold fields have been mined for probably 3500 years, it probably initially offered vast wealth by picking gold nuggest off the ground. Most of the petroglyphs in the Etowah River Valley of Georgia are identical to those in southwestern Ireland and around Dundee, Scotland. Those in the British Isles are thought to day from around 2500 BC to 1200 BC. Most of the petroglyphs in the Chattahoochee, Nottely and Savannah River Basins are identical to those in southern Scandinavia. Those in Scandinavia first appeared around 2000 BC.
Ko-ra: Co-re was a king and Co-ra was the ancient pre-Celtic word for a tribe or nation, sufficient in size to have a king, in the British Isles. It may have also been the word used in Early Bronze Age Scandinavia, but most of that language has been lost. Because most Southeastern indigenous peoples, plus the Panoans of Amazonia, roll their R’s so hard that they sound like an L, Cora is the source word for the word meaning the same in Apalache-Creek (kora or kola), Muskogee (kli), Chickasaw (kola), Coastal Choctaw (kola), modern Choctaw (okola or okla) and Arawak (koa, kua or gua).
Togha-re: The word means “Principal People” in Gaelic. It applied to both a tribe and the elite of other tribes. It is the origin of the following Appalachian tribal and place names – Tokah-re, Togaria, Tokee, Toque, Toccoa, Tugaloo, Tuckabatchee, Tuckasegee and Tocasee. Tokahle is also a Muskogee-Creek word meaning “freckled.”
Cura: The Cura-re were a powerful pre-Gaelic tribe in Ireland. Their name means “Spear People” or “the Sun Goddess People.” The word is the origin of the following tribal and place names in the Southeast – Kulasee-Creeks, Cullowhee, NC, Cullasaga River, Judaculla Rock and Curahee Mountain, GA.
Arawaks: Seventeenth century ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort, stated that the Arawaks originated on the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia and were the most advanced people in North America at the time. He said that they built the shell rings then began migrating southward, eventually reaching Peru and Amazonia. The proto-Arawaks then began migrating northward. That would place them in South Carolina and Georgia between around 2400 BC through 1600 BC. The appearance of shell rings in the region coincides with the earliest known pottery in North America. Around 2360 BC, a 20 year long period of almost constant rainfall resulted in the near depopulation of Ireland and southern England. Prior to that time, the people of Ireland built field stone ring mortuary complexes that were almost identical to the shell ring complexes of the South Atlantic Coast.
Cherokee-Irish Moundbuilders: When they moved into the Southern Highlands the ancestors of the Cherokees absorbed some of the Tokah-re. Tokah-re means “Principal People” in Irish Gaelic. Other Tokah-re had already moved south. The southern Tokah-re eventually became the Tuckabatchee and Tokasi branches of the Creeks and Seminoles. Nevertheless, Tokoa (Tocqua, Toccoa, etc.) was an important Overhill Cherokee town. Therefore, it is safe to say that at least some of the Cherokees today are descendants of Bronze Age mound builders in northwestern Europe. So the joke was on me.
Algonquians: The Uchee state that Algonquians already had occupied a large chunk of eastern North America, when they arrived. However, some other ethnic group had build hundreds of shell rings and shell mounds in the Southeastern United States, but had moved away to the south.
Geneticists at the University of Copenhagen have been able the people, who first settled Scandinavia and the British Isles after the last ice cap receded. They were from Central Asia and were the result of western Asians intermarrying with proto-Europeans. The Middle Easterners in Ireland and Scotland, mentioned in a comment by Mark Veale, came about 5, 500 years later. At this time, my guess is that the Algonquians of eastern North America are the descendants of the mixing of aboriginal peoples of the British Isles with peoples, whose ancestors came across the land bridge from Siberia. However, those peoples’ ancestors have also been traced to Central Asia. There is no other way of explaining the same word for “tribe or people” being on both sides of the Atlantic.
Uchee: Uchee is the Anglicization of the pre-Gaelic Irish word for water, uisce. They were known as the Okate or Water People by the Itsate Creeks. The Uchee have always said that they originated in the Land of the home of the Sun God. They traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to settle initially near the mouth of the Savannah River. Since they came after the shell rings were abandoned, their probable time of arrival is between 1500 BC and 1200 BC. Around 1200 BC the Deptford Culture appeared in Savannah. It produced cord-marked, beaker shaped jars which were identical to those made contemporaneously in Ireland, Scotland and southern Scandinavia. The massive ceremonial flint swords of the Uchee were also identical to those made in the Early Bronze Age in northwestern Europe.
Wasa, Wassaw & Guasvli: These were people living south of Savannah at Wassaw Sound, on the middle and upper Savannah River and near Franklin, NC. It was the name of a town visited by Hernando de Soto, which anthropologist Charles Hudson labeled “the ancient capital of the great Cherokee Nation.” This word has three possible etymologies. (1) In Proto-Oceanic . . . such archaic Australoid, Maori, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc . . . it means ocean. Guasvri (Guasvli) means “Ocean People.” (2) It is the Central and Southern German word for water, which is derived from the true Celts of the Austrian Alps. (3) The Archaic Finnish and Sami word for a young cow, reindeer or elk.
Wataree (Watagi or Wataugi in Cherokee): This was originally a tribe that occupied most of the North Carolina Mountains north of Asheville, but by the 1700s had been decimated by raids by northern tribes, European diseases and English-sponsored slave raids. Most of the survivors lived on the Wataree River in South Carolina when the colony was founded in 1670 Water-re was a name of a tribe in the region now occupied by the Netherlands, Friesland, southern Denmark and northwestern Germany. The word means “Water People.”
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Using words to explore the peopling of the Southeast – Part One - December 8, 2018
- Early Scottish immigrants . . . the joke is on me! - December 8, 2018
- Why Southeastern Creeks should study Teotihuacan - December 4, 2018
- The Red-Haired Giants . . . both kinds - December 2, 2018
- A Creek & Uchee Perspective on Unregulated Mass Immigration - November 28, 2018