Extraordinary discovery on slope of Georgia’s Chimney Mountain

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner

It is unlike any artifact ever found in North America and remains a mystery!

March 18, 2021 – Clarkesville, GA – An Atlanta couple traveled to a remote and mountainous northwest corner of Habersham County, GA to check on their vacation cabin, after a fierce storm rolled through the previous night. The cabin was fine, but they noticed that a strange stone object had been exposed by torrential rains then slid down the steep slope of Chimney Mountain a short distance.

The object was carved from Rhyolite, a dense volcanic stone that is associated with caldera type volcanoes. This stone is quite common in northern Habersham and western Rabun Counties, Georgia. Its identity was confirmed with ultraviolet light, which revealed a dense content of clear silicate crystals, which is typical of rhyolite. The carved stone is approximately 25″ (63.5 cm) tall. It weighs about 130 pounds (59 kg).

The location of the carved stone is on the northwestern edge of the Tallulah Caldera in extreme Northeast Georgia. This ancient, extinct caldera is about 12 miles (20.3 km) wide. The rim of this caldera is spotted with newer volcanoes and smaller calderas. The only volcanic peak that shows any evidence of tectonic activity is Chimney Mountain. Until 1886, steam and smoke regular came out of the top of this mountain.

Again in 2019, steam or hot gases were spotted coming out of the top. In a few days, all of the vegetation on top of the mountain had died. The top soil of my property on Alec Mountain, seven miles (11.2 km) to the south contains very young scoria lava bombs. This suggests that Chimney Mountain has been active in the recent past.

Petersborough Man

The carved stone appears to be the upper torso of a human body with a sunflower bud as its head. Ancestors of the Creeks used a sunflower stalk to symbolize a royal family, but no art survives, showing anthropomorphic features on sunflowers. Furthermore, all of these “royal sunflowers” were in full bloom.

One can see vestiges of a shirt or blouse on the torso, plus what appears to be a breast plate or necklace on the front. The interior of the flower bud was a vessel for burning incense.

This figure most resembles the “Petersborough Man” on the Petersborough Petroglyphs in Ontario and a similar figure on the Ometepe Petroglyphs in Nicaragua.

As will be seen in the photographs below, the stone was obviously engraved, but the engravings have been eroded over the centuries by the harsh weather conditions on Chimney Mountain. It will be necessary for the stone to be transported to my lab in order to determine the exact pattern of the engravings. I will illuminate it with a strong horizontal light and ultraviolet light then examine it with a magnifying class to discern the pattern. At this time, I will also measure it precisely with calipers.

My guess is that this artifact was part of an anthropomorphic stone statue in a shrine on the ridge line that gives access to the top of Chimney Mountain from the north. Someone long in the past dismembered the shrine and cast its stone components over the side of the mountain.

The Astonishing First Photos

The top of the object is either a sunflower bud or a lotus blossom.
Bud of the sunflower or lotus blossom
Incense was burned inside the flower bud or lotus blossom.
Geometric indentions can seen and felt around the sides of the torso.
A rim was carved around the rear side.
This enhanced image revels more engraved patterns.

This artifact was found about a half mile east of the little known Westmoreland Petroglyphs. On a nearby peak, US Forest Rangers found a carved stone throne, very similar to the one at the top of a pyramid at the Maya city of Uxmal. This artifact is being stored at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. It is not being displayed in public.

Westmoreland Petroglyphic Boulder on the southwest slope of Chimney Mountain


  1. Richard, This looks like some Very ancient stone art of people that had lived where the poppies were cultivated (The Proto -Shumers / Sumerians) around 4200 B.C. then to (Spain perhaps). This could be another clue for people arriving from the Middle East. “Warka” is another name for Uruk (or Erech). Some of the same symbols:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Richard, this is a fascinating post and I do wish I could read petroglyphs because the Westmoreland Petroglyphic boulder on the South West slope of Chimney Mountain is brilliant. Did you enhance the picture of it because it is so clear. ?


  3. Hey Rita! I ran a chalk stick along all engravings on the boulder and have a very good Nikon digital camera. Sure wish digital cameras had been invented when I was in Mexico the first time!


  4. Howdy, Not only great photos…ONCE IN A LIFETIME FIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On Thu, Mar 18, 2021 at 8:03 PM The Americas Revealed wrote:

    > alekmountain posted: ” by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner It > is unlike any artifact ever found in North America and remains a mystery! > March 18, 2021 – Clarkesville, GA – An Atlanta couple traveled to a remote > and mountainous northwest corner of Habersh” >

    Liked by 1 person

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