People of One Fire

Thornton, Richard. People of One Fire. Web. Georgia. 2010-2013. Digital Rights Copyright 2010-2013 by

Why the History of the Era is Confusing

Many people of Creek descent, who are not professional historians, have written me over the past few months with questions about the Creeks during the English Colonial Period. They are totally confused by the conflicting information presented by web sites, books, tour guides and historical markers. The information seems to vary by state. I feel […]

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Why and How did Native Americans Build Mounds

“Indian mound” is the common name for a variety of solid structures erected by some of the indigenous peoples of the United States. Most Native American tribes did not build mounds. The majority were constructed in the Lower Southeast, Ohio River Valley, Tennessee River Valley and the Mississippi River Valley. Some shell mounds can be found along the entire length of the United States’ Atlantic Coast.

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Where was Hernando de Soto’s Guaxale?

Guaxale was a Native American village visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition in late spring of 1541. De Soto and his small army of conquistadors explored what was to become the Southeastern United States between the years 1539 and 1543. Despite the fact that de Soto’s men only visited Guaxale briefly, and the village was not large, it’s location has been a major focus for scholars, studying the earliest Spanish explorers. In North Carolina one suggested location of Guaxale has even been a key element of tourism promotion.

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The Trail to Yupaha

An AccessGenealogy Exclusive: The Trail to Yupaha – Is Yupaha the Mayan connection to the Indians of the United States? This is a highly contentious look by Richard Thornton at the possibility of a trail he found in the Track Rock Gap area of Georgia being the connection to the Mayan of South America… The History Channel premiered it’s new show “American Unearthed” investigating this very issue. One of the people they interviewed on the show, now tells you in his own words, how this discovery all came about.

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The Teepee

Hollywood has taught us much during the 100+ years of making Westerns. Everyone now knows that the Lakota (Sioux) invented the teepee and that all teepee’s are made of buffalo hides. By the time that the White Man arrived, the Sioux invention had spread throughout the continent. Those Indians, who didn’t have teepee’s or ride

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The Native American History of Levy County Florida

An overview of the Native American History of Levy County Florida from the earliest cultural periods: looking at the Levy County area during each of the Native American cultural periods up until the final Seminole surrender. Richard also discusses the Cedar Key Shell Mounds, found within Levy County, providing a brief view of the archeological findings.

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The Late Slave Raiding Period 1705-1721

This is the period when Native Americans increasingly became the pawns of France and Great Britain in their struggle over North America. For a quarter of a century, France had formally claimed all lands within the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio River Basins, based on the explorations of LaSalle. With the founding of the first capital

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Shell and Sand Mounds of Tick Island, Florida

On Tick Island, near Jacksonville, Florida contractors were merrily tearing away at another shell mound when workers found stone tools and weapons mixed with the shells. Word got out. Some amateur collectors began poking around the site looking for perfect spear points, ornaments and pottery. Before the ancient structures were totally destroyed, Ripley Bullen, a professional archeologist investigated the site.

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Peachtree Mound near Murphy, North Carolina

The Peachtree Site had one of the few Hierarchal Period mounds in the North Carolina Mountains that has been excavated by professional archaeologists. The Heye Foundation studied the mound during the early 1900s in the same period that it excavated the Nacoochee Mound in the Georgia Mountains. Unfortunately, this work was done in an era when neither precise aerial photography nor radiocarbon dating was possible. Also, archaeologists of this era were primarily interested in obtaining ‘trophy’ artifacts for their museum and benefactors in the Northeast. Little attention was given to the town as a whole, or its chronology. Most of the mound was destroyed. Farmers leveled what remained after the archaeologists left. However, many mounds are still visible on satellite color and infrared maps.

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Old Stone Fort

Old Stone Fort is one of the most beautiful Native American archaeological sites. When the Scottish, Ulster Scots and English settlers first arrived in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, they discovered a continuous chain composed of hundreds of fieldstone structures on the mountain and hill tops between Manchester, TN and Stone Mountain, GA. Some were

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Navajo Hogan Home

The Diné, the second largest Native American tribe in the US, originated from the sub-arctic region of Canada, with their ancestors being Athabaskans. The tribe is now spread across numerous regions in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Once primarily farmers, the Diné later adopted hunting and animal rearing practices. Traditional Navajo architecture, known as hogans, were earth-sheltered, insulated structures with both female and male versions serving different purposes. Although modern conventional houses are now more prevalent, hogans still hold cultural significance for the Navajo people.

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Native Uprisings Against the Carolinas (1711-17)

In 1957 University of Georgia archaeologists, under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Caldwell, were working on several archaeological sites on the tributaries of the Savannah River that were to be flooded by Lake Hartwell.  The best known of these town sites are Tugaloo and Chauga. Because they were last occupied by Lower Cherokees in the

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