Track Rock Gap . . . Ten Years Later
by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
Many generations of academicians in North America just did not do their homework. It would be unthinkable for European and Latin American anthropologists not to learn the languages and cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples they are studying . . . or towns they were excavating . . . but that is exactly what most anthropologists and archaeologists in the Southeastern United States did.
Because I knew in advance in 2012, when and where each of the four Georgia archaeologists, hired by the US Forest Service, would be speaking on the Track Rock Terrace Complex, I dispatched Georgia Creek brothers and sisters to these meetings. Although all four archaeologists presented themselves as experts, all drew a blank face, when asked about the Itza Mayas, Chontal Mayas and Soque . . . the three principal Mesoamerican peoples, who became ancestors of the Creek People by mixing with other peoples from Southern Mexico and eastern Peru, who arrived in the Southeastern United States earlier.
What immediately caught my eye in 2015, when I found the wooden box containing the original handwritten text of “The Creek Migration Legend” and other reports from Georgia Colonial Secretary Thomas Christie, was the Uchee Migration Legend. The Uchee consistently stated that they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the “home of the sun” and first settled at the mouth of the Savannah River.
Uchees carry a combination of Sami, Finnish, Karelian, pre-Gaelic Irish and Basque DNA markers. I am part Uchee. Now I know why all Scandinavians and even the Sami, thought I was Northern Sami . . . who have tanner complexions and Asiatic facial features.
I started looking at the names of the indigenous peoples in Georgia. The Creeks originally called themselves Aparashi, which English-speakers write as Apalache. Their name is Panoan and means, “From sea-descendants of”. In the Southwest, the Ute version of that name is Parawan, which means “Sea People.” Parawan Gap in Utah gets its name from a band of Aparashi, who traveled across the continent. The Itza Maya name for the Uchee was Okate, which means “Water People.”
The name of the Soque People in NE Georgia and southern Mexico is pronounced Sjō : kē. That is exactly how the Gamla Norse name for the “Sea Sami” is pronounced and spelled. It means “Sea People.” After they intermarried with the locals and became a dominant ethnic group during the Formative and Classical Periods in southern Mexico, the name “Soque or Zoque” came to mean “civilized” in Mesoamerican languages.
Of course, the first question a layman would ask is, “Why would Bronze Age Europeans travel to the Georgia Mountains?” The answer is GOLD. It is no accident that the Tugaloo stone was found at the beginning of a trail that led into the heart of the Georgia Gold Belt.
Georgia has the purest gold in the world . . . all three types . . . yellow, white and red. Even after Spanish Sephardic miners lived in the region for over a century, the first wave of Anglo-American gold miners in the 1820s and 1830s were able to find large nuggets of pure gold, laying on the ground. One in Gilmer County is said to have weighed over 60 pounds.
In north central Georgia, pure gold nuggets were found on the south side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, while almost pure copper nuggets were found on the north side. East and northeast of present day Dahlonega are deposits of natural brass, which were commercially mined until the mid-20th century. The region also contains deposits of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, greenstone and quartz crystals.
The following charts will allow the reader to see for his or her self that the same petroglyphs were carved in northern Georgia as could be found in either Ireland, Scotland or southern Sweden. The Etowah River Basin contains Irish-Scottish type symbols, while the Nottely, Hiwassee, Chattahoochee and Savannah Rivers contains petroglyphs like those in southern Sweden.