Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
Tours of Bottle Creek Mounds, Mobile Alabama
Founding POOF member, Joseph Creel, a Gulf Coast Choctaw, sent us word of an exciting opportunity for POOF members in that region. Joseph is currently working at the Saint Stephens archaeological site in SW Alabama. See the info below if you would like to take the boat tour.
The trading town that is now known as Bottle Creek Mounds was established around 1250 AD in the swamps also the eastern side of the Mobile River. Southeastern archaeologists don’t seem to know this, but there are many ties between town and the Chontal Maya. The region around Mobile Bay was named Am Ixchel, which means “Place of the Goddess Ixchel.” The watery landscape of the Mobile Basin is virtually identical to that of Chotalpa on the coast of Tabasco State, Mexico. The site plan of Bottle Creek is virtually identical to the ports that the Chontal Mayas established along the coasts Mesoamerica.
Furthermore, around 1250 AD Chichimec barbarians invaded the Coastal Plain of Tamaulipas, which was also called Am Ixchel. The Tamauli established themselves on the Altamaha River in SE Georgia. (Place of the Tamau Lord) It was about this time that many Muskogeans dropped the Maya calendar, which begins on the Winter Solstice, and adopted the Tamauli calendar and Green Corn Festival, which occurs at the Summer Solstice. Today, the Tamauli in Mexico are the only indigenous people who eat corn on the cob and celebrate the Green Corn Festival. They also do the Stomp Dance. There are many Tamauli words in Hitchiti, Miccosukee and Mvskoke. Get the connection?
Tours to Bottle Creek Indian Mounds
Sunday, December 1, 2013, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Sunday, December 8, 2013, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Bottle Creek with eighteen earthen mounds is the largest Mississippian chiefdom (AD 1200-1400) on the north-central Gulf coast. It is a pristine archaeological site located on Mound Island in the beautiful Mobile-Tensaw Delta in north Baldwin County. Ride the Delta Explorer for a 1-hour cruise up the Tensaw River lead by Blakeley State Park crew. Once on Mound Island the walking tour, including climbing the largest mound that stands 45 feet high, will be lead by Dr. Greg Waselkov, Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama.
The boat leaves at 9:30 am (please arrive early for boarding) from Lower Bryant’s Landing located off Highway 225 about two miles north of Interstate 65, just south of Stockton, and will return around 1:30 pm. The Delta Explorer has a 50-passenger capacity, but it is not readily handicapped accessible. There is a restroom on board. The boat is open so it may be a little cool on the ride. Bring snacks, lunch, drinks, and plenty of water. We usually eat our lunches on the boat ride back. Please wear hiking boots or similar comfortable shoes. We will provide bug spray, if needed. Don’t forget your cameras and binoculars.
For reservations and more information, please contact Blakeley State Park at 251-626-5581 . Cost is $35 per person, $15 for children 6-12 years of age, well worth the trip. If you would like a map and directions to Lower Bryant’s Landing, please email or call Bonnie Gums at firstname.lastname@example.org or (251)460-6562.
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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.
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