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Why Kolomoki and Singer-Moye Mounds were built out in the boonies . . . a 310 mile long alignment of structures

Why Kolomoki and Singer-Moye Mounds were built out in the boonies . . . a 310 mile long alignment of structures


An astounding, perfect alignment of six ancient towns and mountaintop shrines prove that a thousand years before the construction of towns at Ocmulgee National Monument and Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark, the people of the Southeastern United States had skills in astronomy and land surveying far exceeding any contemporaries in the Old World.  However, the fact that the starting point for this 310 mile long vector is at the mouth of the Apalachicola River suggests that these town planners originated from somewhere to the south . . . at a minimum the far western tip of Cuba. 

Indigenous Astronomy and Town Planning in the Southeastern United States

Part Two of the Series

One will occasionally see the same comments in academic texts about Kolomoki Mounds and Singer-Moye Mounds (Patauli).  The author ponders why Kolomoki Mounds and Singer-Moye Mounds were built around 8 and 12 miles, respectively, east of the Chattahoochee River . . . along modest creeks that were barely navigable for small dug out canoes.  Almost all the other great towns of the the Lower Southeast were built along rivers, which could support massive freight canoes, up to sixty feet long.  This seems to be a significant question, but there were no speculations.  While in college, the author’s professors had not given them the orthodox answer to this riddle, therefore the former student did not dare say something that might be criticized by his or her peers.

Kolomoki is located in southwest Georgia.  It is named after the Kolima-ki Creeks, who lived in that region during the Late Colonial Period. Kolomoki apparently began as a religious shrine or location for a regional market.  A smallish burial mound has a starting date of about 30 AD, but most of the construction occurred between 300 AD and 550 AD.  An asteroid or comet struck the South Atlantic Coast in 539 AD, creating a massive tsunami that covered most of southeast Georgia with water.  Almost simultaneously,  several massive volcanoes erupted in Central America and Iceland, bringing on a Little Ice Age.  As a result,  the Hopewell and Swift Creek-Weeden Island Cultures quickly disappeared. The Maya Civilization went into hibernation and Europe entered the Dark Ages.  

The Singer-Moye Mounds Site is also in southwest Georgia and is located 25.6 miles (42.7 km) north of Kolomoki.  It is one of the Southeast’s best preserved mound sites, and contains Georgia’s fourth largest mound.   The Creeks called this town Potauli.   Most of the mounds date from the period from 900 AD to 1600 AD, but Woodland Period pottery and artifacts have been found at the lowest layers.  This suggests that there was a village or shrine site here during the Woodland Period.

The actual town plans of Kolmoki and Patauli are different from each other and from the alignment of the town sites.  They will be discussed in separate articles in this series.  Patauli’s plan had the same alignment as Teotihuacan, which was associated withe Pleiades constellation.

Well . . . as in so many other situations,  the actual descendants of the people, who built these towns, want to know the answers.  There are are too many unanswered questions about our ancestors that have been glazed over with simplistic anthropological models of the past then fossilized by academic politics.    It is very difficult to argue with hard numbers, so I used ERSI GIS software to analyze these two town sites.


Digital benchmarks were placed on the centers of the two largest mounds at Kolomoki and Patauli.   The software then drew a line between the centerpoints.  I then told the computer to extend the vector line southward.  It passed over the mouth of the Apalachicola River on the Gulf of Mexico.  Curious as to whether this vector also applied to archaeological sites farther north, I instructed the software to extend the vector northward.  I then merged this digital map with another digital basemap, which showed the archaeological sites explored by Robert Wauchope in North Georgia during 1939.  Several Woodland Period archaeological sites were exactly on this vector line.   Three were mountaintop stone shrines or observatories.   I was not able to identify any correlations north of the Ladds Mountain Observatory . . . although there may be some.



The maps speak for themselves.  Kolomoki, Patauli, the Pine Mountain Stone Complex, Whitesburg Mounds, the Dallas Mountain Stone Complex and the Ladds Mountain observatory were all sited along a surveyor’s traverse line.  How indigenous town planners, 2,000 years ago, were able to accomplish this surveying feat. I do not know. 

In the past, I have been able to explain alignments of individual town plans to the Solar Azimuth by the use of “high tech” sun dials.  However, this is different situation.   The vector angle does not align with either True North or Magnetic North . . . so primitive compasses are not another option.

Thus, we now have another question . . . “How in the heck did they do it?”


Virtual Realty images of principal sites


The Ladds Mountain Observatory overlooked both Leake Mounds and Etowah Mounds.

The Ladds Mountain Observatory overlooked both Leake Mounds and Etowah Mounds.  It is in Cartersville, GA.


Patauli has an unusual, very complex plan, with many details that have not yet been recognized by archaeologists.

Patauli has an unusual, very complex plan, with many details that have not yet been recognized yet by archaeologists working there.


Kolomoki was both a town and a ceremonial site.

Kolomoki was both a town and a ceremonial site.

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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.


    • I was wondering about that. The alignment may have nothing to do with Cuba, but it does align to those sunken islands off the west end of Cuba.


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