Muskogean Mound Builders

Along the North Fork of the Shenandoah are the fertile bottomlands that made the valley famous. Between Strasburg, Woodstock and New Market, VA the river snakes its way through rich alluvial soils. Here, there is archival and unstudied archaeological evidence that an advanced Native American culture once existed in the Shenandoah Valley. Because of the lack of archaeological studies of Mississippian type sites in the Shenandoah Valley, the discussion on this period must remain highly speculative.

Native American platform mounds still exist in Virginia. They will be discussed within Part Four. It should be noted that the Shenandoah Valley is between the two remaining platform mound sites and would have been the travel route between the two towns.

It is a definite fact that Muskogean mound builders lived in southwestern Virginia until the 1730s, when they returned to Georgia and joined the Creek Indian Confederacy. They were the Tamahiti, known to Virginia anthropologists by the name used by Algonquians, the Tomahitans. Tamahiti means “Merchant People” in the Itsate Creek language. The word for maize in several Shawnee dialects is “tama.” Tama means trade in the Totonac language of Mexico. The Creek Indian languages contain many Totonac and Itza Maya loan words.

Thornton, Richard. Native Americans of the Shenandoah Valley. Web. See Further: People of One Fire. Blairsville, Georgia, © 2012.

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1 thought on “Muskogean Mound Builders”

  1. As an American Indian researcher, I have found close to a dozen of these Muskogean sites in West Virginia and Virginia. I have found dozens of platform structures, base cairns, serpent walls, and hundreds of rock mound burials. I have also found dozens of rock art in pictograph and petroglyph form using red ochre and bitumen. I have also found two undisturbed earthen mounds with both measuring over a hundred feet long.
    I have reported these sites and others to WV and VA SHPO offices and they could care less. I would love to meet an archaeologist or anthropologist that actually wants to learn about West Virginia and Virginia indigenous history. These sites would be very helpful to learning more.

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