The Mysterious DNA of the Windover Pond Bodies
Using Words to Explore the Peopling of the Southeast: Part Four
The strange similarities of words, pond burials and petroglyphs between the Southeast and NW Europe all come together.
As we continue our series, I would like to make it clear how difficult it is for me to get to the truth about any aspect of this subject. I have to keep a virtual machete at my side to hack through the multiple layers of caca de toro in the “science” of anthropology today. There are honest, dedicated, technically competent scientists in that profession and then there is a sea of demonic sharks constantly trying to conceal, distort and pervert the truths that these men and women have uncovered. Even the most dedicated geneticists can be generally characterized as being woefully ignorant of the actual cultural history of the indigenous American peoples that they are supposedly experts on. Biases and dysfunctions within their profession prevent them from having access to this critical information.
Case in point . . . in 2015, Clarence House, which is the office of HRH Prince Charles, made a donation to the Lambeth Palace Library to cover the costs of professional, high resolution digital copies of the 285 year old (long presumed lost) contents of a box that James Edward Oglethorpe sent to King George II on July 7, 1735. I had found a mention of the forgotten box on an inventory list at the National Trust of the United Kingdom . . . labeled “Miscellaneous early documents from the Colony of Georgia in the Americas – Lambeth Palace Library.” The box contained the detailed descriptions of the indigenous peoples in Georgia by Colonial Secretary Thomas Christie, plus the minutes of a meeting with the Principal Chief of the Creek Confederacy, which is now called “The Migration Legend of the Creek People.” The reprographic cost was going to be well over $2000, which I couldn’t afford. I had to sign an affidavit, in which I promised never to sell copies of these images, but was encouraged to make digital copies available to institutions of higher learning.
As soon as the digital images arrived, I sent out letters to all anthropology departments within the maximum territory of the Creek Confederacy and modern locations of the Creek & Seminole Indians, plus the Georgia Historical Society and the Muscogee-Creek National Council stating that Prince Charles had funded digital copies of many important handwritten eyewitness accounts on the Creek and Uchee Indians, including the famous Creek Migration Legend, which have been lost for 285 years. Their department could have a free copy. I included a transcript of the first three pages of the original Creek Migration Legend as proof of the importance of these documents.
David Yahola, Speaker of the National Council, quickly responded. He thanked me for the gift and said that he wished more Creeks were giving back to their people, like I had. The National Council was the only institution that requested copies of these extremely important documents! Most of the 26 anthropology departments did not respond. Those that did, wrote back terse, sarcastic comments such as (1) There were NO Mayas in the Southeast, (2) Take your delusions elsewhere! or (3) Stop talking about subjects that you are not qualified to discuss! The Senior Professor for the Muskogee-Creek language and history at the University of Oklahoma AND the co-author of the Muskogee-Creek Dictionary, wrote back, “Who did this translation? It is all wrong!” I responded, “Mary Musgrove . . . Several of the documents are interviews with Creek and Uchee leaders in English by Georgia’s Colonial Secretary, Thomas Christie.” She wrote back, “Never heard of her. What university does she teach at?” 🙁 At that point . . . I thought expletive deleted thoughts . . . and gave up efforts to share knowledge with academia.
Unanswered questions about Windover Pond
In 1982, a bulldozer operator uncovered what turned out to be an ancient underwater cemetery, begun around 8,000 years ago and utilized for the next 1,000 years. It was located near Cape Canaveral and Titusville, Florida. Ancient Americans had carefully buried their dead at the bottom of a pond. The low acidity peat had preserved 168 full skeletons and their grave offerings. There were many other, highly deteriorated remains. All but one of the skeletons were aligned east-west. However, their necks had been broken, post mortem, in order to turn their faces to the north! Most burials contained woven fabrics. Several also contained domesticated bottle gourds. This was absolute proof that indigenous Americans, possibly much earlier than 6,000 BC were weaving cloth, sandals and fishing nets, plus were practicing agriculture.
Prior to traveling to Mexico, I had been required to take two classes in the Anthropology of the Americas. I distinctly remember being told by a professor that one of the key reasons the Southeastern Moundbuilders could not be classified as civilizations was because unlike Mesoamerica and Peru, they never learned how to weave cloth. The books were written by the famous archaeologist, Gordon R. Wiley, who worked at Ocmulgee National Monument between 1937 and 1939, but spent most of his career at Harvard University near Boston, Massachusetts.
I now, after eight years, have access again to my library. Yes, that is exactly what Wiley said. Yet, in 1925, Boston Area archaeologist, Warren K. Moorehead, found brightly colored and patterned clothing in Etowah Mounds burials. Surely Wiley read Moorehead’s book on Etowah Mounds since both lived in Boston? European explorers from Hernando de Soto (1540) to Richard Briggstock (1653) described the ancestors of the Creeks in Georgia wearing brightly colored, woven clothing. See what I mean? You find such errors and omissions throughout the anthropological literature.
Seventy of the Windover skulls contained brain matter, from which geneticists could extract DNA samples. The PBS Nova Special on the Windover Pond stated that the DNA in the skulls was found to be European. The videos on the Windover Site, produced by the Central Florida Museum and South Carolina Public Television both stated that their DNA was European. The video produced by the supervising archaeologists at Windover Pond state that the DNA was found to be European. One of the archaeologists also stated that the skulls seemed to be Eurasian, typical of those in the Ural Mountains area . . . and I might add, also typical of Sami.
HOWEVER . . . the Wikipedia article on the Windover Pond archaeological site states: “The DNA indicated Asian origin, similar to that of the four other major haplotypes of Native American peoples, and a relatively rare Haplogroup X.” I have a feeling that the article had been “edited” by some anonymous person, who refuses to believe that while humans reached Australia by boat at least as early as 55,000 BC, they were incapable of reaching the Americas by boat until the Vikings came along. This person used a citation, without a page number, for a book written by a PhD, who was NOT involved with the genetic studies of the Windover skeletons.
Here we go again. Most readers, with a modicum of knowledge about Native American DNA would assume that this author was telling us that the bodies were typical of Native Americans around the Great Lakes Basin. They have predominantly Asiatic DNA with many also carrying the X MtDNA. As you will read below, the Windover Pond people did NOT carry two of the key haplogroups, linked to American Indians. I don’t even know where the anonymous author of the Wikipedia article dreamed up that statement.
Fact Checking the Experts
Well no. Among many things, what the Wikipedia articles leaves out is that none of the brain samples tested carried either A or B MtDNA. As can be read below, the scientists involved stated the Windover Bog People were Indigenous Americans, but unlike Native Americans today.
Here is what two of the scientists, who worked on the Windover Site stated publicly:
Archaeologist Glenn Doran: “Since the haplogroup frequency distribution of the prehistoric Windover population is unlike that of any known surviving or prehistoric group, they may represent the only demonstrated instance of the recent extinction of a group of Native Americans with no close surviving relatives.”
Geneticist Joseph Lorenz from Coriell Institute for Medical Research was also searching for the DNA markers typical of “Native Americans” in the DNA samples taken from the bones of five individuals from Windover. He did not find what he was looking for but he did not stop. After comparing the Windover DNA to present European people’s he said:
“I went back to the screen and I looked at the sequences again, the first person’s DNA it looked European. When I looked at the second one it looked European. When I looked at the third, fourth and fifth it was slightly different from the first two but they looked European.”
There are three common presumptions that are inherent with all the interpretations the Windover DNA. (1) They assume that one combination of DNA haplogroups typifies all Native Americans, when in fact there have recently been well-documented Polynesian DNA in ancient skeletons of northwestern Mexico and southern California, plus Australoid populations among the earliest settlers of South America. (2) They are not aware that there are no DNA text markers for the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern United States, and (3) The Uchee have consistently stated that their ancestors crossed the Atlantic to the Savannah River. The Uchee are the oldest indigenous people in the Southeast. However, their own migration legend states that they found evidence of a people, who had lived in the Savannah River basin before them.
When you see any map of the genetics of the Americas, the portion in the Southeastern United States is pure speculation. There are no DNA test makers for the region and the Windover Bog Bodies’ DNA is different than other indigenous peoples. Actually, its worse than that. I have noticed that some awfully stupid academicians are now showing a vast proportion of tradtional Uchee, Muskogean, Arawak and Siouan territory in the Southeast as having always been “Cherokee-Algonquian. There are no DNA test markers for the Uchee, Muskogeans, Southeastern Arawaks and Southeastern Siouans. The same stupid academicians use Algonquian DNA from northern Quebec to equate to the Cherokees.
For unknown reasons, the DNA study of the Windover Bog bodies is not available to the general public. One must be an anthropology or genetics professor at an accredited university anthropology program in order to access the report online. However, by using some of the statistical techniques, that I have used in the past to manipulate the Google algorithms, I was able to access normally private message boards, where anthropologists and geneticists discussed the results. One of the most interesting comments was from a California geneticist, who stated that academicians were picking certain parts of the complex DNA of these people to prove their theories, when in fact the combination of DNA in the Windover People was not like modern American Indians, Europeans, Africans or Asians.
The three sites of “Windover People” burials in Florida represent over 85% of all Archaic human remains in the Americas and are the only such remains in the Eastern North America for which it was possible to obtain DNA samples. Nevertheless, in the spring of 2018, a group of former “Clovis-first” . . . now “Beringea First” academicians got together and issued a press release to the world, stating that the Windover DNA results should be ignored because they are not like the ancient DNA results found elsewhere in the Americas.
There was enough info from the online debates for me to discern some very interesting information. None of the bodies contained haplogroups A, B and D MtDNA. That eliminates the Algonquian and Siouan tribes of North America, but not the Muskogeans, who tend to have Mesoamerican Haplogroup C MtDNA. The female professor cited in Wikipedia called the Windover People, Asians, but neglected to tell readers that the Haplogroup X in the bodies was a Western European X. They couldn’t possibly be Eastern Asians. The bodies also contained R1a, which is a haplogroup now associated with northern Scandinavia and the western edge of Europe. It originated in Southeast Asia.
I wrote down several other haplogroups, which the debating academicians said were disproportionately high among the Windover People. The Windover People had a very high level of a type of Haplogroup N Y-DNA, which is associated with the Sami, Finns, Siberians and Ainu. One after another, other haplogroups in the Windover People were associated with the northern edge of Siberia, plus Scandinavia and the northwestern edge of Europe. An article on the specific type of Haplogroup N carried by the Sami, Finns and Windover People stated that it appeared in northwestern Siberia at the height of the last Ice Age. That didn’t make any sense. How could a new type of DNA mutate over a mile thick sheet of ice?
Russian geologists and archaeologists, working in the new oil and natural gas fields on the northern edge of Russia have discovered something that could radically change the understanding of how both the Americas and northern Europe were peopled after the Ice Age. They still don’t understand why, but there was a huge pocket of land on the northern edge of Russia, which remained ice-free and densely populated by both large mammals and humans during the Ice Age. Furthermore, another island of inhabitable land appeared in northwestern Russia, east of Finland, several thousand years before all the ice caps had melted. The ancestors of the Sami thrived in the Taymyr Peninsula then migrated westward into Karelia then skirted the northern edge of Scandinavia to reach Norway. They obviously were both skilled at living on ice caps and also had canoes capable of traveling long distances.
Scandinavian pond burials
Reading long forgotten love letters from Britt-Louise, the Lady Godiva of Lund University, Sweden, has jogged my memory about a highly significant connection between the Windover Pond and Neolithic Scandinavia. She closed one letter by telling me that I should not wait to fly back to Sweden to stay with her in Malmö, until I looked like those mosmumier (bog mummies) which we saw in the Danish museum. Those bog mummies dated from the Bronze and Early Iron Age, but then I remembered that the two archaeologists at the Landskrona Stadsarkitektkontoret had mentioned to me that they had found Neolithic burials in an ancient pond on Ven Island. After all these years I had forgotten the word, mosmumier, but when I googled an inquiry in Swedish, using it, I accessed a wealth of information on Neolithic and Bronze Age burial customs. Indeed, while the Bronze Age elite of Pre-Germanic Sweden were buried in log tombs within earthen mounds just like the Moundbuilders in the Southeastern United States, the commoners were typically buried at the bottoms of ponds or shallow lakes. The bodies were buried in a fetal position then covered with a sheet of leather, pinned down into the muck with wooden stakes . . . just like the Windover Pond burials. There is no mention of their necks being broken so their faces looked northward. We will get back to that later.
The mosmumier search results also listed a fascinating, recent report from the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Its geneticists have just completed a study of the origins of the Sami and Finnish people. Before the Great Recession in 2008, we were told that the Sami had no Asian heritage. Their Native American-like appearances was the result of evolutionary adaption to polar climate. I just couldn’t believe it because I had stumbled upon an isolated Sami community between Kiruna, Sweden and Norvik, Norway, who looked like full-blooded Siberians or American Indians. I did a little sleuthing and found that the Midwestern geneticist, who wrote this press release had only used DNA test markers from a southern Sami community near Upsala, Sweden. Their ancestors had been mixing with Germanic Swedes for perhaps 3,000 years. Max Planck used ancient burials at the bottoms of ponds and shallow lakes. Yes, that’s right the Sami and their kin in southern Sweden and Denmark buried their dead at the bottoms of ponds for thousands of years.
It is now known that the Sami originated in northern Siberia in that island of habitable land. Until around 4500 years ago, the haplogroups of their ancestors pretty much matched the people of Windover Pond. I don’t know if the percentages matched, because the Windover DNA study has not been made public. However, the Sami did build field stone circles and “sun wheels” like found in Scandinavia, the Scottish Highlands, Ireland, Canada, northern Virginia and northern Georgia. Those in Virginia are found near the PaleoAmerican Thunderbird Site.
The shortest route for their ancestors to reach Eastern North America would have been to travel straight over the polar region from their habitable enclave to ice free regions of Canada. So . . . if your ancestors migrated across the Arctic then southward along the Atlantic Coast of North America, it makes perfect sense for your loved ones to have their heads turned northward at the time of death, so the souls could find their way home.
Scandinavian Bronze Age Civilization
Although little or nothing appears about it in North American history texts, a very sophisticated civilization developed in Scandinavia between around 2400 BC and 1200 BC. While I was living in Skåne, Danish archaeologists discovered that an apocalyptic storm or tsunami had leveled the trees in the Danish Archipelago and left behind up to a meter of muck around 1200 BC. It was probably an “extinction event” for those living in present day Denmark and the coastal areas of southern Sweden. Between 1200 BC and 500 BC the region entered a “Dark Age” because little copper and tin reached there to make bronze. Societies reverted back to something like a Neolithic (Stone Age) culture because only the elite could afford copper and bronze tools. There was no copper and tin available in Scandinavia. There was apparently no slavery and human sacrifice in Scandinavia until the harsh times that existed at the tail end of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.
Germanic peoples probably did not enter Scandinavia until the Iron Age or around 500 BC. The aboriginal peoples included ancestors of the Sami, Finns and probably ethnic groups, similar to those in the British Isles. In recent years, geneticists at the Universitet København have discovered that the genes necessary for blue/gray eyes and red/blonde hair were introduced by tall red-haired immigrants from the southeastern tip of Iran during the Bronze Age. Generations of students around the world were taught that the Scandinavians always had such features because of living so far north. In fact, the people with the darkest hair and complexions live in the northern most latitudes of Scandinavia because they have the least “red-haired people” genes.
The most likely ethnicity for any Bronze Age European traders accessing the copper deposits in the Great Lakes and the gold and copper deposits in the Georgia Mountains is Proto-Scandinavian. Until the the 1700s, there were no known copper, tin and gold deposits in Sweden. Denmark has few mineral resources, but very fertile soil for farming. Northern Norway contains many minerals, but the climate and mountainous terrain made them both unknown and inaccessible during the Bronze Age. To compensate for the lack of metal ores in regions accessible by boats, the proto-Scandinavians early developed maritime skills, which included construction of boats, sturdy enough to cross sea water. They became wealthy trading amber, furs and walrus ivory for copper and tin in mainland Europe.
An Anglo-Saxon monk ties loose knots together
In People of One Fire articles earlier this year, we discussed a Bronze Age petroglyph in Vestfold, Norway, which portrayed the voladores of the Totonacs in Mexico and of Bronze Age petroglyphs being discovered in the Copper Mountains north of Tepotztlan, Mexico, which were identical to Bronze Age petroglyphs in North Georgia, western Ireland , northeastern Scotland and southern Scandinavia. In the series on Teotihuacan, we discussed a mural which portrayed the souls of humans being born in water, then coming out of a hole in the ground into the sunshine. We also mentioned that the Okvni (Oconee) Creeks had originated on the South Atlantic Coast and that their name means “Born in Water.” In several articles, we pondered why the ancient Swedish root word, bo, means “living place” in Danish, Old English, Coastal Uchee, Cusabo language of South Carolina and the Panoan languages of Peru. How could all of these cultural connections be possible?
Seemingly unrelated facts are now coming together. They portray a Pan-North Atlantic Culture, which perhaps several peoples shared the same cultural traditions and some common haplogroups in ancient times. At the very least there was extensive trade and trans-Atlantic voyages during the Early Bronze Age. There is no other explanation. The voyages may continued off and on during the Iron Age, but there is less physical evidence to back it up. Pre-Columbian bronze and iron tools/weapons have been unearthed by professional archaeologists in the North Carolina Piedmont and several parts of Georgia. The artifacts are listed in reports, but the archaeologists dared not mention them further because the iron artifacts were found at occupation levels several centuries or even many centuries before Columbus’s voyages.
Bǣda, often known today as Venerable Bede, was the most influential European scholar of the Early Middle Ages. He was born in Sunderland, Norththumberland in 673 AD and died in Yarrow, Norththumberland in 735 AD. In an era when most people never traveled a day’s walk from their village, Bǣda, traveled all over Europe . . . in particular, the “Holy Roman Empire” of Charlemagne. He is the best source for European history and geography of the Early Middle Ages.
Bǣda stated that originally, all of the Island of Britain was occupied by Britons and all of the Island of Ireland was occupied by the Irish. This was surprising information. The Picts were from southern Sweden and the Danish Island of Zealand on the west side of the Öresund Channel . . . the same region that I lived in. According to Bǣda, they were forced out of their homeland by Geats (Goths) who were Germanic invaders from the south.
The Picts initially settled in NE Scotland near Dundee then spread along the northern edge of Scotland, ultimately settling as far south as the southwestern tip of Ireland. However, their territory ultimately consolidated into the Scottish Highlands and the extreme tip of Ireland, west of Belfast. Overtime the Picks began to speak a language, highly influenced by Gaelic. So, everywhere that one sees the concentric circle petroglyphs were former Pict territories. Where the Picts consolidated are the only parts of the British Isles in which the letter R is rolled so hard that it sounds like an L. This is the same pronunciation used by the Muskogee Creeks. This is how the Pictish provincial name Corra became the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Apalachicola suffix, meaning people. It is also the root of the North Carolina Mountain place names, Cullowhee and Cullasaje. Some Uchee Bands pronounced the R similarly to an English R. Thus, Currahee Mountain is near Toccoa, but there was also a Creek town near Toccoa, named on British maps, Cullasee.
Northern Arawaks condensed cola into coa, goa and gua, with the same meaning. One finds ethnic and town names with that suffix as far south as the coastal regions of Venezuela and Colombia . . . and as far north as the North Carolina Mountains. The original Arawak name of Commerce, GA in northeast Metro Atlanta was Thamagoa. It is a combination of the Totonac/Itza/Creek word for “trade” with the derived Arawak suffix for “people.” Toccoa, GA is the Anglicized abbreviation of Tocah (Irish Gaelic for Principal People) with coa . . . Tocah-coa.
The Algonquians, however, use the Irish and Scottish Gaelic suffix for “people or tribe” . . . “ge.” Because the Cherokees became an assimilated people, they use both the Gaelic suffix and a modified Pictish suffix. Tallicoa evolved into Talliquah.
Perhaps even more surprising is the origin of the Angles . . . the ancestors of the English. Bǣda stated that the ancestors of the Angles originally lived north of the Picts in southeastern Sweden. This would have put them originally in either Småland, Östergötland or Södermanland, where the 4,000 year old Nyköping Petroglyphs are located. Apparently, at this time they were not a Germanic people, but after they migrated southwestward into the southern end of the Island of Jutland, Denmark, they absorbed much of the vocabulary and grammar of Northern Germanic. Their original homeland has many burial mounds and Bronze Age petroglyphs.
Bǣda’s claim that the Angles were originally from Sweden might seem far-fetched to some, but the plot of the famous Anglo-Saxon story, Beowulf definitely takes place in southern Sweden and Denmark. The primary actors in the play are the Danes, Jutes, Skyldings (Skansk), Geats (Goths), Svea (Swedes) Wendals (Vandals), Fenns (Finns) and Frisians. The hero of the story, Beowulf, is a Skylding from the Öresund Channel between Denmark and Sweden. For all we know, the real Beowulf’s home may have been on Ven Island in the Oresund.
What is especially astonishing is that one of the provinces on the coast of Georgia in the 1500s had an Archaic Anglisc (English) name! The Alecmanni were a wealthy and culturally advanced people, who were allies of the French Huguenots at Fort Caroline. The lived upstream on the May River, where Doctortown and Jesup, GA are now located. The Jacksonville location for Fort Caroline was a fantasy created by economic boosters in Jacksonville. Fort Caroline’s commander, Captain René de Laudonnière, stated that these people had become wealthy from growing medicinal herbs such as cinchona (quinine) and trading them all over eastern North America for valuable commodities. He stated that their name in French meant “les gens de la médecine,” which in Modern English would be Medicine People. In fact, alek became the 18th century Creek word for a medical doctor. When that region was in Creek Territory, Doctortown was known as Alektown. Alec Mountain, immediately east of my new house, gets its name from the Alecmanni, who were associated with an ancient stone circle and cairns here. Let me make it clear, though, that De Laudonnière called these people Indians, not white men.
What would Medicine People being in Archaic Anglisc? Alekamanni! It is pure Archaic English grammar and vocabulary. Until the Middle Ages, Anglo-Saxon place an “a” in front of a verb or adjective to create a noun . . . especially proper nouns. You still hear traces of that old language in the Appalachians, when people say, “I am agoing to town.” Leka is the Swedish and Old Anglo-Saxon word for medicine or the verb meaning “to make medicine.” Manni was the Northwest German (Archaic Anglisc, Allamanni and Saxon) plural of man. Anglo-Saxon eventually opted for the Jute and Danish plural of man . . . mæn. I have no explanation, but these words are virtually the same. There is obviously much that we do not know about the Pre-Columbian history of North America.
Fifteen years ago, when we started out our journey in the quest of knowledge about our ancestors, I was very hostile to anyone who tried to give an Old World culture credit for introducing “civilization” to the New World. In a sense, I still am. However, it has become clear that for thousands of years, the Americas . . . particularly eastern North America . . . was a ethnic melting pot. Perhaps, many were just visitors or traders. It may be that the immigrants from across the Atlantic, with the exception of the Uchee, were too few in number to make a major impact on the genetic make up of the peoples of the Americas, but they did have a cultural impact . . . a big one during the Bronze Age. The sacred symbols and simple writing system that I saw carved on Bronze Age boulders on the cliffs of Ven Island are now the sacred symbols of the Creek and Uchee Peoples. That cannot be denied. You can see them on many a boulder in the Southern Appalachians.
PS: Britt-Louise urged me to return to Skåne to get a Masters in Urban Planning at Lund University. With her connections, I could have easily gotten a full scholarship . . . and the mayor of Landskrona told me that I had a permanent job with the city, if I wanted it. Georgia Tech architects were much more creative than their Scandinavian counterparts, even though Swedish architects had much higher standards of living. When the economy crashed after the Yom Kippur War, my employer’s paychecks began bouncing. I came very close to applying for a student and professional work visa at the Swedish Consulate, but never did. Life is indeed a box of chocolates.
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