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We will have to rethink the early history of the Mayas and indeed . . . North America

We will have to rethink the early history of the Mayas and indeed . . . North America


Geologists have determined that the Proto-Maya glyphs above were carved into granite rock around 2000 BC.  They are located near the Swedish city of Nyköping, which is on the coast of the Baltic Sea.  These are some of the oldest petroglyphs in Scandinavia and do not resemble at all, typical Bronze Age Swedish petroglyphs from later eras.  

Nyköping is pronounced exactly like “New Shopping” and means the same.

HOWEVER . . . things are actually even more bewildering than they seem.  As will be explained later in this article, three of the most important religious symbols of the Bronze Age Scandinavians,  Celtic Age Europeans, plus the Uchee and Creek Peoples of the Southeastern United States appear to have originated in North America around 3500 BC or earlier. Only much later did they become incorporated into the Maya writing system.   The earliest known Maya inscriptions date from the Third Century, BC.

During the past hour, I have made more progress, translating the petroglyphs of North Georgia and at Judiculla Rock, North Carolina than in the previous ten years.  Yesterday, I sent an inquiry to the College of Archeology and Ancient History at Lund University . . .  where I took classes many years ago in Swedish Medieval architectural history and historic preservation.   The school now even has a Masters Level Archaeology program, taught in English . . . geared to international students. 

I hoped they would have some information about the meaning of the Bronze Age petroglyphs in Sweden, since most scholars seem to be only interested in Viking Age runic writing.  During the Neolithic and most of the Bronze Age, ethnic groups inhabited Scandinavia, who were quite different in appearance than the modern Scandinavians. What the staff member sent back is mostly written in English.   It enables me to translate most of the symbols on several petroglyphic boulders.


The Shoal Creek Petroglyphs in Georgia also contain dots in a box.

Some of these glyphs are identical to glyphs utilized by at least some of the Maya city states.  Most of the numbers, consisting of bars and dots, are identical to those of the Mayas.  What really makes these 4,000 year old glyphs resonate is that most of the glyphs are surrounded by boxes with rounded corners.  This was always assumed to be a feature exclusive to Maya script.  It obviously began about 2, 000 years earlier that always assumed by archaeologists. 

Do you realize the astonishing implications of this chart?   All of Georgia’s petroglyphic boulders are located in the Georgia Gold Belt.   The Tugaloo Stone, which portrays Bronze Age ships, was originally located at the head of navigation for the Savannah River.  An ancient trade path led from that location to the gold fields in the Nacoochee Valley.  It is now obvious that at some time period between 2400 BC and perhaps 1200 BC,  Nordic traders were mining gold, copper and probably, gems in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North America.


There are many Swedish Bronze Age astronomical symbols on the six petroglyphic boulders at Track Rock Gap, GA


It is quite common to see engraved footprints on Swedish and Norwegian petroglyphic sites, but they are rare elsewhere in Europe.  Some are six-toed.   Footprints also were carved on several of Georgia’s petroglyphic boulders and also the many petroglyphs at Parawan Gap, Utah.  The meaning of these footprints is not quite clear to Scandinavian or North American archaeologists.


Sun Wheel,  Sacred Fire or Medicine Wheel Symbol

Swedish Bronze Age sun circles

It is very strange that the indigenous peoples of the Americas never created wheeled vehicles.  The earliest “stonehenges” . . . circular ceremonial and astronomical sites created by arranging boulders and field stones . . . were in Alberta Province, Canada at least as early as 3500 BC.   Such forms of communal architecture did not appear in the British Isles until about 500 years later.

Between around 1800 BC and the period when Rome conquered most of western Europe,  the Sun Wheel was endemic in all forms of Northern European art.  It was very rare for petroglyphs not contain sun wheels.  They were almost as common in metal objects , destined for ceremonial use. The unconquered Germans and Scandinavians continued to hold the Sun Wheel sacred until they were donverted to Christianity.  Its appearance diminished greatly during the period that Rome ruled Western Europe, but it was resurrected permanently when the Gaelic peoples of Scotland and Ireland converted to Christianity.  They incorporated the pagan Sun Wheel into the Gaelic Cross!

It is not clear when the Sun Wheel symbol became the Sacred Fired symbol of the Uchee People and ancestors of the Creek People.  However, the symbol must have been sacred long before it appeared on shell gorgets and clothing. Archaeologist Warren K. Moorehead excavated clothing on the remains of a leader or priest, who lived during the first or second phase of the Etowah Mounds occupation.  The cloth was dyed indigo blue then white and black Sacred Fire symbols were embedded into the pattern. 

The smaller cross pattern on the left, is the Maya and Creek symbol for the planet Venus.  It also appears in Bronze Age Scandinavian art and petroglyphs.  However, the cross symbol is generally ignored by European anthropologists, perhaps because they think that it is such a universal symbol for “something” that is is not worthy of study.



Great Sun

Perhaps this symbol is the most astonishing connection between Bronze Age Scandinavia and Pre-Columbian North America.  The oldest known examples come from southern Sweden and the Bornholm Island . . . perhaps in the range of 1800 BC to 1200 BC.   The earliest example in North America is on Boulder Six at Track Rock Gap, Georgia, which dates from at least 1200 BC, but may be older. The earliest appearance in Maya Script is about 0 AD or slightly earlier.  

This was the first glyph, which was “cracked” by Dr. David Stuart,  who is now the world’s leading expert on Maya script.  Like the cartouche that accompanies the names of ancient Egyptian pharoah’s, this one is the instant indicator of a Maya king’s name.

The symbol may have originally meant a “medicine wheel” in very ancient North America, but in Scandinavia, the Southeastern United States and in southern Mexico, it definitely came to mean the “Great Sun” or high king of a province or city state.  What is really remarkable is that the same symbol eventually reached the Southwestern United States.   It is a fairly rare symbol there, but definitely appears at the Three Rivers Archaeological Zone near Tularosa, New Mexico.



Sun Lords

Among the Mayas and Creek Indians,  Sun Lords were the brothers and sisters of the High King.  It is not clear whether Bronze Age Scandinavian Sun Lords were also siblings or close relatives of the king, but this is likely.  The word in Maya and Itsate Creek is Hene Ahau.    In Muskogee Creek, it is Heneha . . . and his the official title of the Second Chief of the Muscogee Creek Nation.  The latter word is mentioned in the chronicles of the Pardo Expedition between 1567-1569.  

Something that clearly cannot be explained currently is the use of a similar symbol in the ancient art of Kazakhstan.  This large nation is landlocked in the heart of Asia.  Theoretically, there could be no direct cultural contact between Kazakhstan,  Scandinavia and North America.  However, somehow there was.  Ethnologists and art historians continue to argue as to whether this figure represents the Sun God, a Sun Lord or merely a shaman.   UFO enthusiasts insist that it portrays extraterrestrials.  What is even more bizarre is that the version of the Sun Lord symbol found on a group of petroglyphs in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is very similar to the version seen in Kazakhstan! 

The Scandinavian version of the symbol appears to portray a sunflower as the head of a human stick figure.  The versions of this symbol in Georgia, North Carolina and Utah portrays an actual sunflower plant.  The version found at the Peteborough petroglyphs and Kazakhstan look something like a light bulb on top of a human stick figure.

There is a problem, though.   The sunflower is a large domesticated flower, which is indigenous to eastern North America.  Sunflowers are today grown on a commercial scale in Denmark, southern Norway and southern Sweden, but they are not native.   Does this mean that the progenitors of Bronze Age Civilization in Scandinavia came from North America?

Impact on your DNA tests

Undoubtedly,  these Bronze Age gold miners in the Georgia Mountains left at least some of their DNA behind. This is especially likely among the Tokahle . . . known to the Seminoles as the Tokahsi (Tocasee). Tokahle means “Freckled People” in the Creek languages.  They were called the Toque by the Spanish and the Tokee by British settlers in South Carolina.  Their traditional homeland was the region, where the Tugaloo Stone was found.*  Tugaloo is the Anglicization of the Cherokee mispronunciation of Tokahle.

* The Tugaloo Stone was originally located near the banks of the Tugaloo River, just above the headwaters of the Savannah River.  For over 200 years it has lain on the grounds of the Traveler’s Rest Inn . . . now a Georgia state historic site. The carvings on this stone include three Bronze Age ships, plus many Scandinavian astronomical symbols. 

The descendants of their marriages to indigenous women carried hybrid combinations of genes that were quite different than those pioneers, who traveled from Siberia to North America.  Yet, after 4,000 years of living in North America the hybrid descendants of Nordic gold miners, would be considered indigenous.

Contemporary DNA tests assume that all American Indians came from Siberia or Southeast Asia.  The primary determinant of Native American ancestry is the percentage of Asiatic DNA test markers.   This approach definitely does not work for the Uchee, since they have always claimed to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun.”   The only “Native American” DNA that will show up in a Uchee is that which was imported from AmerIndian tribes via intermarriage. 

Creek and Seminole descendants of the Tocahle will show far lower levels of “Native American” DNA than is actually reflective of their percentage Native ancestry. Part of their European ancestry will actually be Europeans, who arrived on the continent of North America, three to thousand years ago.

The fact is that over the past 125 years professional archaeologists HAVE uncovered bronze and iron artifacts, which seemed to predate the arrival of 16th century Spanish and French explorers.  They were especially common in sites along the Oconee and Altamaha River in eastern Georgia and along the upper Chattahoochee River in the Georgia Mountains. 

Most archaeologists quietly listed these artifacts in their inventory and said no more, in order to avoid being crucified by their peers.  The few, who did make any comments, explained the bronze axes and swords as being “dropped by Spanish explorers, such as the De Soto Expedition.”

The folks in Iberia, where Spain is located, stopped making bronze axes and swords around 500 BC!


As of today . . . it’s a brave new world out there! 


The following two tabs change content below.
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.



    Richard, looking forward to your presentation at AAPS in October. I’ll be presenting there, too. An aside note: One of the symbols on a carved shell (found in GA) is the same symbol used now by Sweden to represent an historical site. It is the eternity symbol. Give me your email and I’ll send pictures.


    Greetings Richard, LOVE this website! I tried leaving a post in another section, but not so sure it posted correctly or not. I’ve got an interesting pendant that I would love to share pics of here, but not sure how to. Perhaps some of you here, may have seen some of the engravings this pendant has on it. I would really appreciate it!

    A friend sent the pendant to me from Indiana, where she found it using her metal detector, about 2 feet under ground, near an old tree. it’s unidentifiable as of right now, but she spoke to several people about it. All agree it’s brass, but they are not sure about it’s markings and say either egytian or native american.

    I would be happy to share some pics in hopefuly figuring out what this is, My email is:


    Hey Richard
    Holy cow! It would be great to read Track rocks. In looking with my untrained eye if the bottom symbols and the feet were carved at the same time could this be a land marker. The symbols of the sun and moon along with the dots in and around the symbol could be a date. The feet may have been a form of signature saying I have been here or I own this land.
    Another possibility is a form of map. Walk this way so many days then go this way so far and there you are.
    Can’t wait to hear more. As you say I go where the evidence leads me. What an exciting path.

    • That’s what I am thinking too. Always before there was no clue what we were looking at. Now we know.


        Hey Richard
        Do you have a way of removing the different glyphs according to the time they were carved? We know DL Evans was not bronze age Swede. Being able to see what was carved and when would be a great help in understanding all the petroglyph carvings in the SE. I have not found anyone on the web that has done that kind of breakdown on any of the petroglyph carvings , plenty of good pictures are there, but no dates on the individual carvings I have found.
        Thanks for a Swedish Smorgasbord for the brain, this is fascinating.

        • That’s one of the things that I am working on. The fact is that the upper left of Boulder six contains four Itza Maya glyphs that any Maya could have understood. BUT did those Itza Maya glyphs ACTUALLY date from around 1200-800 BC? I don’t know. Many mysteries.


            Way to go Richard! I will love to see that!


    Richard,,,Great job again!!! You are rewriting the history books or we should say “correcting” / connecting more dots every article.
    I’m now thinking that the there is a Dutch / Knights Templar / Armenian Gold mining connection with the South East based on what has been discovered by you. This would help explain many “Ani”- “Cherokee” Armenian DNA / words/ Dances / script connections. The Turks did their best to get rid of the Armenians as history states (from Turkey) and had a working trade network with the Dutch. “Melilot” city on 1500 /1600 maps seems to me to be a connection with the “Camelot” story of 12 Century Norman / “Nordic” lore. The “Tokah” could have very well been some Nordic settlers that became part of the Apalacha Kingdom. That would explain the Nordic cross flag of Chief Tus-ka-lusa in Alabama in 1540. Notice the Nordic cross tattoo’s of 1765:

    • Could well be Mark . . . You keep on doing your research too. It is too complex a problem for one person to handle.


    Hi Richard, Its getting exciting now that you and others can recognize the symbols. I’m dying to know what they all mean.


    Can’t wait to read. To let you know the images do not appear in the print preview, not sure if you have a “printer friendly” option on site. I’d like to include this in my library archives…


    Could foot symbols be property signatures? As in, they are marking property and claiming it for their tribe/family?

    • I don’t know! The Scandinavian archaeologists can’t even figure the footprints out. The footprints at Tanum, Sweden are turned perpendicular to the direction that the ships are moving.


    Good evening. I am a native of Abbeville Alabama just south of Eufaula along the Chattahoochee. I believe my family may be descendants of the Creek. I will be researching that next week when I return home. Also a question…have you found any indication that any of these Pre-Columbian people…the Olmecs Maya Inca Mississippian Creek etc…had African influences or populations?

    • Hey Marcus

      There are thousands of people in your area of Alabama, who are of partial Creek descent. So it is highly likely that you had Creek ancestors. There is no evidence of African influence in the Pre-Hispanic days . . . only from Pre-Gaelic Ireland and Bronze Age Scandinavia. However, there documented history that people of African heritage were absorbed into Creek tribes almost immediately after the Spanish began exploring the Southeast in the early 1500s. In 15266, eighty African slaves at the doomed San Miguel de Guadalupe Colony at the mouth of the Altamaha River escaped into the interior of Georgia and joined tribes, which would later be members of the Creek Confederacy. Eufaula was originally a town near the Altamaha River in SE Georgia. Also, unlike the Cherokees, the Creeks gave sanctuary to all escaped African slaves. The white planters hated us because of this policy.


        I think there is ample evidence of an African presence in the Americas and even in early Asia and Europe but that evidence has been…is being…supressed.

        • You asked me about Creek Cultural History. I told you the truth. As far as we know, all homo sapiens can trace their ancestry to Africa. In recent years, it has been determined that the earliest known inhabitants of one section Amazonia were part of the first wave of homo sapiens who left Africa. Genetically, they appear to be the same people, who settled Australia 65,000 – 50,000 years ago, but they were genetically different than most of the indigenous peoples in Africa today . . . except for some tribes in Namibia. The articles flooding the web about the Olmec civilization being founded by Africans are pure fiction, written by people, who are totally ignorant about the peoples of southern Mexico. The Zoque People in southern Vera Cruz and the Soque Branch of the Creek Confederacy look exactly like the Olmec Heads. They carry NO contemporary African DNA. In fact, what is making me really mad is that several of the photos of the “Olmec Heads” being shown on these African American History web sites have been photoshoped to look like contemporary Africans. Just because someone is Native American or African American, who writes something on the web or in a book, does not mean it is true.

          Rather than looking for the truth, many African Americans want to support “their football team” when they are actually being lied to by such sources. Native Americans do the same thing. Remember when the Cherokees claimed that Track Rock Gaps 300+ terraces were built by the Cherokees for performing sacred dances and burying great Cherokee chiefs. That was total malarkey, but most Cherokees support these nonsensical statements because they were made by Cherokees.


        I believe there is ample evidence of an African presence in early America and even in early Asia and Europe but that evidence has been…is being… supressed.


    You mentioned “slave raids” conducted by the so called Cherokee in Creek lands…could you expound on that?

    • Very soon after its founding, Jamestown, Virginia began using Native American war captives as slaves. After the Colony of Virginia institutionalized the slavery of Native Americans and Africans during 1660s a vast “ethnic cleansing” occurred in the Southeast. Entire regions of the Southeast were depopulated by English-sponsored slave raids. The colonies of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina even issued special branding irons to the 14 bands of the Cherokees so they could be properly paid when Native American captives were sold in slave markets on the Atlantic Coast. All of the major tribes took part in the slave raids, but the Cherokees were the biggest players in the slave trade. Cherokee slave hunters ranged from the Great Lakes to the southern tip of Florida, from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast. It has been estimated that over 600,000 Southeastern Native Americans were sold into slavery. Native American slavery was banned by King George II in 1752, but individual colonies soon passed laws that if a nominally Native American slave was as much as 1/64th African, they would remain slaves. That is why many nominally African people in the Southeast today carry substantial NA DNA. Coretta Scott King’s family were known as Creek Indians where she grew up in Alabama. She only started calling herself an African American after her husband became a civil rights leader.


        That 600,000 figure is interesting seeing as some scholars note that only about 400,000 Africans we’re brought to the US. This gives rise to a movement within the African American community to question the whole narrative of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. They say the trade was actually in reverse…Native Americans shipped to Europe and Africa. I find this to be absurd but… It’s harder for me to discount the work of others so easily… Many of those scholars who you refute. ..Dr Ivan Van Sertima…John Henrik Clarke…Dr Ben…Runoko Rashidi… These are heroes to me and they spent their lives researching the links to civilizations all over the world back to their African roots…

        • Female Creek and Uchee Slaves were bred to African men. Everybody else was shipped to the Caribbean Islands to live short brutal lives cutting cane. Those in the Caribbean rarely lived longer than a year or two unless they became the concubine of a white planter.

          There were actually books published in the 1700s, which instructed planters how to breed “civilized” Indian women to African men to obtain the ideal slave. Native Americans were much more resistant to cold weather, whereas Africans were able to work longer in hot weather.

          Slavery sucked. I cannot understand why white Southerners continue to glorify the Civil War.


            …it is part of the legacy of the myth of “white” supremacy…this is part of the foundation of America…my wife is from El Salvador and when we meet I started researching their history. They also have a legacy of African intermarriage with Native women…that must have been a widespread practice…her father was from Peru so I was very interested in your theory regarding the origin of Eufaula…how did that come to be ?

          • It is not a theory. Creeks carry Peruvian DNA and several of our core words are Panoan in origin. Swift Creek pottery was being made in eastern Peru for several centuries before in appeared a the Mandeville, GA town site near Eufaula.


            You also said in that video that the Peruvians were the kings of the Creek…was there a class structure of sorts among the Creek and other Native people based on ancestry? Also what was the religious system they practiced…I’ve come across a few people who refer to the religion as hoodoo which is identical to what later African people called their system

          • Remember Creek is a generic name that covers about 28 ethnic groups with varying traditions. Some definitely had distinct commoner and elite classes. Many of the provinces originally onsisted of elites of Maya and Peruvian decent and commoners composed of indigenous ethnic groups. However, because of intermarrying, they eventually became pretty much the same genetically. At the time of contact with the British, most of the Creek tribes were monotheistic – worshiping a single invisible god, we call the Master of Life. The concept of this god was pretty much the same as the Jewish concept of God.


            Also, after watching a YouTube video in which you were discussing the links between the Maya and the Creek I read up on the Hitchiti…. Wikipedia…which I know is not the most credible source…states that the Hitchiti ended up in my home of Henry County Alabama

          • Most of the Hitchiti either stayed in Georgia and assimilated or else moved to Florida and became known as the Seminoles. You are right. Wikipedia can be really off when discussing Native American topics.

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