Hurricane Ian struck the ruins of the former capital of the Calusa Kingdom (0 AD-1700 AD) on Mound Key, Florida with 155 mph winds and a 16 feet tidal surge, prior to devastating modern towns nearby, such as Fort Myers. Those pyramids and platforms, built of sea shells, are still standing!
by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
By the way, I am still very much in the business of producing world-class virtual reality computer models of historic and prehistoric structures . . . even if they no longer exist. In fact, that is exactly how I got started in this specialty. The American Museum of Natural History wanted me to re-create the actual appearance of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale on St. Catherines Island, GA as it looked in the early 1600s.
The least likely location on the entire Eastern Seaboard of the USA to receive a direct hit by a hurricane is the mouth of the Altamaha River near Darien, GA. It was also one of the few locations of the Atlantic Coast, where Indian Corn grew well. Thus, the Georgia Coast had a very high indigenous population density, but its towns did not build the tall shell pyramids like one sees in Florida or southern Alabama. There are many ancient shell rings on the Georgia Coast. These provided protection from tidal surges, which extended out from hurricanes bypassing the Georgia Coast.