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The Track Rock Petroglyphs . . . I have a confession

The Track Rock Petroglyphs . . . I have a confession


As you all I know, I just follow the evidence where it leads me.  During the past week, I have been pouring through Swedish, Danish and Norwegian articles about the Bronze Age.  Bronze Age pictographs were a pre-Germanic writing system in Scandinavia that predates runic.

This is not where I was expecting to go.  All but three of the glyphs on the six Track Rock Gap petroglyphs can be found at Bronze Age and Early Iron Age petroglyph sites in southern Sweden . . . actually, the very part of Sweden that I lived in.  Do you see the tail coming down from the Royal Sun glyph?   That was a common feature in Bronze Age Sweden in the approximate period of 1800 BC to 500 BC.  The Swedes of the Viking Era probably had no clue what these glyphs meant.

YET . . . Boulder Six at Track Rock Gap, which is illustrated above, does contain Itza Maya glyphs that can be read.  Three of them were never used by Bronze Age peoples in Europe. Both the Creeks and the Cherokees called the mountains in that region “Place of the Itza” (Itsapa/Itsayi).  Chiaha was definitely an Itza Maya province and there were many villages with Itza names in that region as late as 1721 . . . but most soon moved much further south in Georgia because of the Creek-Cherokee War.  The Track Rock Complex is identical to many Itza and Kekchi terrace complexes in Chiapas, Guatemala and Belize.

Now I don’t know what to think.  The ancient history of the Americas is obviously much more complex than even a “free thinker” like myself could have imagined.

  • Fact!  In 1937,  Smithsonian Institute archaeologist, James Ford, unearthed several bronze weapons and tools from the south bank of the Altamaha River near Darien, GA and St. Simons Island.  He was shown many more bronze and archaic iron weapons/tools that local residents had found in the past.  He interpreted all of these artifacts as items left over by bands of Spanish soldiers in the late 1500s.
  • Fact! In 1939,  Archaeologist Robert Wauchope, a recent graduate of Harvard University, was show bronze weapons and tools that residents of the Nacoochee Valley in Northeast Georgia had found while plowing.  The location was about 25 miles west of the Tugaloo Petroglyphic Rock.   Wauchope interpreted these artifacts as being left behind by members of the De Soto Expedition because the De Soto Trail Commission had just declared the Nacoochee Mound as the location of Guaxule, a Native town visited by De Soto.
  • Fact! In 1951, Harvard University professor Phillip E. Smith unearthed two bronze axe heads from a stone veneered mound on the Oconee River in Middle Georgia.  It was in the region occupied by the Oconee People (Ocute), who De Soto had visited.  He briefly mentioned them in his report as tools obtained by local Indians from the Spanish.  I have found several other archaeological reports on sites in Northeast Georgia, where bronze axes or daggers are mentioned as being unearthed, but they are not discussed in the reports.
  • Fact!  In 1959, archaeologist Arthur Kelly unearthed a shrine in the shape of a Bronze Age or Iron Age ship, built out of fieldstones and overlooking Morgan Falls in North Metro Atlanta.  He called it Boat Rock Grave and interpreted it as a burial in the shape of a much over-sized canoe.  Building stone burial mounds in the shape of triple-sized canoes was not a tradition in North America, but was a common practice in Bronze Age Scandinavia and parts of the British Isles.
  • Fact!  The Iron Age began in Iberia during the 600s BC.  No bronze weapons or tools were made in the future location of Spain after around 500 BC.  Iron weapons and tools were much cheaper to make and so they quickly replaced bronze implements.


Both the Etula Cross/Sun Cross and the Royal Sun symbol are endemic in Southern Scandinavia,  Maya cities and the region of the Southeast where the Creeks originated.  The Sun Cross was the symbol of the Sun God in the Southeast and in Scandinavia.  In the Southeast and Maya Lands, the Royal Sun meant “Great Sun” or High King.  It meant a king in Scandinavia.  The Bornholm Glyph predates the Maya glyph by at least 800 years.  We really don’t know when the Track Rock glyph was made.  How can you explain this?

Yet, as can be seen below,  three of the definite Itza Maya-Itsate Creek glyphs below are never seen on Bronze Age Scandinavia petroglyphs. They are the glyphs for mako (great), ahau (lord) and Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl).   While drawing a line down from a glyph is common on Scandinavian and Appalachian petroglyphs, it is not seen in the Maya writing system.  So why would an ancient Bronze Age Scandinavian glyphs be combined with Maya glyphs in the Georgia Mountains?  Whatever the case, these images are not the graffiti of bored Cherokee hunters as stated in the US Forest Service’s study of Track Rock Gap.  In fact, they have nothing to do with the Cherokees at all.  None of these symbols ever appeared in Cherokee art, whereas they were incorporated into the shell and copper art of the Creeks.


This is where it really gets “Twilight Zone.”   The two unique characteristics of Bronze Age petroglyphs in Southern Sweden and the Island of Zealand in Denmark are the use of lines with dots or circles on the end and the carving of feet across petroglyphic boulders.  All of the symbols on the Forsyth Petroglyphic Boulder and most on Boulder Four at Track Rock are Bronze Age Swedish glyphs. Some of the glyphs of Boulder Four are also found in Ireland and Iberia.  These glyphs were components of a pre-Runic writing system that seems oriented to astronomy and navigation.

These engraved stones were said to be found in Tennessee in the late 1800s by General Gates P. Thruston, the famous Nashville artifact collector.    They contain symbols that are also on the Tugaloo Petroglyphic Rock and the Forsyth Petroglyphic Boulder in Georgia.  Thruston definitely misrepresented statues from Etowah Mounds as being from Tennessee, so these might not be from Tennessee.   Obviously, these symbols have meaning beyond the names of stars or constellations in the sky.  In the late 20th century, an anthropology professor from the University of Tennessee declared them to being fakes, without testing the age of the stone engravings.   He described the symbols as “crude attempts by frontiersmen to imitate the Cherokee syllabary.”   The symbols bear no resemblance to the letters in the Cherokee syllabary.

My grandmother use to put the symbol on the bottom right of the right hand photo on her pottery and baskets.  She said that was the symbol of our mother town.  I do believe that these two stones are authentic prehistoric artifacts and not fakes.


Scandinavian archaeologists have identified Late Bronze Age petrogliphs that describe massive attacks by invaders in Phoenician or Greek style seacraft around 500 BC, which quickly ended the Bronze Age.  These invaders either killed or drove out the aboriginal people of southern Scandinavia.   In these petroglyphs, the invaders’ ships are much larger than the defenders’ boats.  They have rams and upturned tails.  

Note the oversized leader in the left photo, wearing horns.  The De Soto Expedition initially set out from Florida to find the fabled “town of Yupaha,” but never mentioned its name again.  Yupaha is probably the contraction of Yupa Ahau, which means “Horned Lord” in Itsate Creek and Itza Maya.


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.



    Mako (great) appears in different forms throughout the southeast like minko, mingo. Do you recall that Tonto called the Lone Ranger “Kemo Sabi?” Kemo is another variation of the root bilateral root m-k; sometimes the roots are reversed in languages like when people say I “aks” you a question instead of ask, or little kids say “ephelant” for elephant. The root k-m means wise in northern Semitic.

    • Interesting. Mako is the original word. It means “great” in Itza Maya and Itzate Creek. Mikko and mingo evolved from it.


    Whatever happened to those bronze weapons found by the archaeologists? Did the items ever make it back to Harvard or the Smithsonian & now reside in a box in the store rooms there?

    • I have been trying for several years to find out what happened to the tools unearthed by James Ford at Santo Domingo State Park on the Altamaha River. At the time, the National Park Service was considering the acquisition of the state park as a national park. The park included the tabby ruins of an 18th century sugar mill and rice mill. The park also included an early 19th century plantation and the earthworks of a 16th century Spanish or French fort . . . which I think is Fort San Mateo (1566). It was visited and described by William Bartram in 1776. However, Ford assumed that the fort was an Indian mound and didn’t examine it. The artifacts were put on display in the museum. Then Ford wrote a letter to the State of Georgia saying that there was nothing of historical value in the park. The state officials were so disheartened that they CLOSED THE PARK! It was converted into an orphanage then given to the Georgia Baptist Convention when Atlanta took the Hapeville Baptist orphanage to expand the airport. Most of the property now is unused. The former museum is a counseling center. The artifacts unearthed by Ford were taken from the museum and placed in boxes, but so far no one knows where the boxes went.

      The staff at Fort King George State Historic Site was helping me look for the lost artifacts. Then Becky Kelly, the Director of the State Parks and Historic Sites Division found out that I was at Fort King George and called down there . . . ordering them not to communicate with me. Kelly is the one who 10 years ago banned all Creek Indian events at state parks and changed the Creek Barbicoa at Etowah Mounds to a Cherokee Woodland Feast. Kelly’s gotta go. She’s done too much damage already.


    in regard to “lines”…. in some plains Ind beadwork, I was looking into the design. one symbol (glyph?) had the symbol completed, but a line from it went off the edge. do not recall, but I learned that the line going off the edge meant that “life goes on” . in our European logic, we often use lines to contain an area (fences & walls) , but in the beadwork mentioned… the line indicated force, movement, direction. also, seems like I recall that horizontal line work on buffalo robes, represented time frames and “counts”.


    Hey Richard,
    You have made my jaw hit the floor in the past but this time it hurt! I will have to take another good look at the track rock symbols
    At the Forsyth County Fair grounds in Cummings there are a couple of carved boulders. I remember swirls and holes in the rock but ,of course, no one knew anything.
    Have you seen these carvings or know anything more about them? Maybe now other glyphs can be read.
    Thanks again for a great read!


    Richard, You have discovered Omec, Maya, and Western written symbols of Europe (Europa) all in Georgia. The stopping point used by the Vikings was Newfoundland so perhaps more of these symbols can be found there? The Maya, Olmec’s, Alabama (Alba-Ma), Yuchi (Euchee), and Itza peoples all have lore or were stated to have arrived from the East by Boats by other peoples. We should also not forget the Duhare people who made it here as well. As nature has taught us there are many of GOD’s creations that migrate… going to and fro. Georgia appears to have been a stopping point for many peoples over a very long time as the climate changed many people moved and some returned.

    • Mark

      In my reading of European journals, I found a mention of a period in the mid-1100s when it rained for 10 years in Ireland, causing all the crops to fail. This disaster was followed immediately by the capture of southeastern Ireland by the Normans. The Normans began persecuting the Old Gaelic Church, which had married priests and bishops. The Roman Catholic bishops, who the Normans installed actually burned at the stake Irish Christians, who followed a tradition going back to the original Christian church. There are several monastic journals, which describe voyages of the Ossreigh from southeastern Ireland to Witmannsland across the Atlantic to escape persecution. Ossreigh means “Deer People.” They got that name because they developed a domesticated Red Deer for dairying. Of course, the Duhare People also raised dairy deer. There must be a connection.


        Richard, Thank You for your reply. It’s very sad that man has done so many evil acts to others but I have faith that GOD can restore all those living souls any day or reward them with Eternal life. Many have always used GOD’s Words for Evil…That’s why history is so important. To learn before it’s to late that it’s been an offer for the many but few will accept. I want to personal state that I am sorry for any Evil acts that my Forefathers committed against anyone. GOD Bless.


    I noticed your reference to Creek Barbicoa. Is Barbicoa a Taino word which means to cook outside in a pit, i.e. barbecue?

    • The Creeks used the same word – borrowed from the Taino. There were many Arawaks in Georgia, western North Carolina and NE Tennessee. There was an Arawak hilltop shrine in SW Metro Atlanta, overlooking the Chattahoochee River (near Six Flags Over Georgia). Tennessee is the Anglicization of the Creek word, Taenasi, which means “Descendants of the Taino.”


    “Tonto” in Spanish means “stupid” or “crazy”, while in one NAIA language it loosely translates as loose feces coward. The Lone Ranger’s name was probably taken from the Spanish “Quien Sabe” which translate as “who Knows” or “he doesn’t know”. The early Hollyweirdoes were not too concerned with accuracy, and they still aren’t. No one was supposed to know who The Lone Ranger really was, remember?

    A friend of mine who is half “Cherokee” is also 1% jew, according to Ancestry’s DNA program. I am trying to find out more about the jews who were mining this area, but it is difficult, since many of them hid or left that heritage , just as many of the Cherokees and Creeks did.


    Hey Richard,
    I was looking at your articles on the Dare Stones after watching the new show on the History Channel about the stones and ran across the drawing of the Squirrel Mountain Petroglyphs. To my untrained eye it appears that several glyphs on the Squirrel Mountain boulder that are close to the Trackrock glyphs. Have you compared them? Is there a date for the Squirrel Mountain glyphs? Might these be bronze age carvings? Hope the clean up is going well and your sunroof is closed!


    Distinguished physicist Anthony Peratt has a hypothesis which suggests that these similar patterns found all over the world are the product of enormous coronal mass ejections during intense solar storms. The electrical discharge phenomenon they produced in the skies above us were then reproduced by our ancestors on the rock faces. The storms occur during periods of grand solar minima and the solar flares that produce these patterns are two to three orders of magnitude more powerful than the most energetic events witnessed today, including the 1859 Carrington Event. The 10Be radioisotope peaks derived from polar ice core records are in complete harmony with the C14 dates from analysis of organic matter found at some of these sites.

    His published works on the subject can be found here.

    There are also numerous coins from the 8th to 13th centuries that have the same pattern as Trap Rock Gap Boulder 6 and the Danish Bronze Age.

    You should recognize Venus from this 2nd millennium Mesopotamian seal since the circle with the dot in the center and radiating ‘hair’ is everywhere on the rocks as are the jagged irregular plasma line features.

    There are also medieval and renaissance paintings that record many of the simplest glyphs from weaker solar storms but be forewarned that you won’t find any tenured anthropologists supporting this hypothesis.

    Solar plasma filaments appearing below Venus from late 15 century Ghirlandaio painting “Madonna with Saint Giovannino”…×711.png

    Plasma filaments…

    Image of strange object resembling a 600m wide asteroid UW158 from same painting…×4%20ann2.jpg

    If you can get yourself past the ‘impossible events’ illustrated above without complete rejection of the hypothesis and you have some spare time on your hands check out the video below.


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