Mayans in Georgia: America Unearthed Episode One. **Now With Updates!**

** Update 11/2/14: From time to time we receive information after posting that requires us to update information. When this happens I like to make a noticeable “Update” tag. In this case the update regards Richard Thornton, you can skip down to it, look for the bold Update tag. **

Here we are, I got the first episode of America Unearthed watched, and wow, just wow. Where to begin exactly? This post is super long because there is just so much, um, stuff…in it. I’m going to summarize things at the bottom for you to make following all the claims in the show easier, but I really can’t not break this massive pile of…not evidence…down. If you don’t want to read the whole post just skip to In Summary at the bottom. Don’t be surprised though, if you ask me a question, I refer you to read the whole post.

Let’s start with Scott Wolter .

As the show will tell you, frequently, Wolter is a self proclaimed Forensic Geologist. Now, I personally was very excited to hear this, Forensics are a pastime of mine. Sadly, this show didn’t really show us much of what a Forensic Geologist does, maybe in another episode? Wolter however, presents himself as an authority on a variety of topics including pyramids, ancient rock carvings, and driving while talking on a phone.

His actual credentials are a Bachelor’s degree in Geology he received in 1982 from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is an avid fossil hunter, and owns the company American Petrographic Services. Under the Services tab there’s a link that explains some about the forensics his company does, which is kind of cool.
Now there is some controversy over whether or not Wolter has an Honorary Masters Degree in Geology presented by UMD. Honestly, whether or not this is true is irrelevant. The only thing this reflects on is Wolter’s character, not his expertise. An honorary degree is not the same as an actual degree. Honorary degrees are symbolic and reflect a variety of things, including donations to the school, life achievements, and the gaining of credibility to the school by handing these degrees out to well known celebrities. It’s like getting a gold sticker because someone likes you. Sure it’s awesome, it’s probably really freaking awesome, but it doesn’t make you an expert in the field.

As to Wolter’s character, we can get a better feel for this by watching the show that’s basically about him, reading his blog, and seeing how he handles negative comments and criticism. Wolter addresses the current nonsensical controversy over his honorary degree by telling us about personal tragedy. I do feel sorry for him, but everyone I know has some deep personal tragedy in their lives, that’s not a defense against criticism. Also, his responses to legitimate criticisms about his methods are problematic at best, (see the comments section in this post), though to cut him some slack, the amount of anonymous posters in the comments section was annoying.

So, on to the actual show.

The intro gives us the creepy flashing pictures and eerie music one would except from a horror flick, or a Supernatural episode. We get a brief explanation about a mysterious archaeological site investigated in 2000 inside Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. Then we’re given our first claim of the show, which is that “Controversial Evidence has since emerged linking the site to Mayan prophecy.”

We’re also told, as music swells and we pan to an angry Scott Wolter storming from the forest to his vehicle, that in “June 2012 federal authorities prohibit access to the site.” This becomes a recurring theme in the episode. It’s also not made clear why at any point, since the area Wolter was going to is a National Forest and therefore open to the public for free. A quick check of the Chattahoochee National Forest website, dealing specifically with this episode of American Unearthed, tells us that “Track Rock Gap is open to public visitation and no fee is charged. We have several suggestions to enhance your visit.” They even have hand downloads and directions to help you find the place. They do have a highlighted box there that explains what the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) is and what it does. One notable line from the box reads “If someone wants to conduct research, they must get a written permit from the USDA Forest Service after it has consulted with other agencies and Tribes. Careful guidelines and restrictions must be in place before the research begins.” So, if it is true that Wolter was asked to leave the Chattahoochee National Forest, it might have been because he was trying to work without proper permission. This is just a guess though.

So after a riveting scene of Wolter speeding away from the Forest while talking on his cell phone, we’re transported to Wolter’s lab in Minnesota where we meet Jon Haskell. He’s simply introduced to us as a photographer, but Haskell has also worked as a media producer creating work for the History Channel dealing specifically with the Track Rock Gap and trying to tie it to both Mayan and Totonac influences. After hearing Wolter’s story about how the Feds won’t let him into the Track Rock Gap site, he offers to show Wolter his footage from the filming he did there in 2011. When Wolter asks how Haskell got into the site to film, Haskell replies, “I had a permit”. We get a few fleeting glimpses of stacked stone walls, and nothing else. Haskell describes other structures, some ceremonial and some having to do with irrigation, but we’re not shown any of this, we’re just meant to take Haskells word on it, and we’re not told why we should trust him. How do I know I can trust his interpretations of the structural remains as a ceremonial structure? How do I know that he knows the difference between an irrigation system and a wall trench? Maybe he does know, but we’re not told why or how, or why we should trust him. All we know is that Wolter does, and when Haskell mentions a flat stone foundation, Wolter immediately suggests is a pyramid base.  Haskell for his part doesn’t seem convinced, but agrees anyway. This also seems to be a running theme in the show, people not sure how to react to the things Wolter says to them.

**Update 11/1/14**  Well, after not seeing much of whatever it is that Haskell wanted to show Wolter, Haskell suggests we go talk to a man named Richard Thornton. He is presented to us as a Maya/Georgia researcher and an expert on “Creek Natives of Georgia” (shows words), he is however, a member of the Perdido Bay Muscogee-Creek Tribe. From doing research online and via the links provided by Thornton’s comments below, Thornton is an architect and city planner, he’s worked with The State of Oklahoma to design Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa, he maintains a blog at People of One Fire, is a writer at The Examiner.com, and has an ebook for sale. This show is not the first time he’s made the claim that the Maya’s were responsible for native sites in Georgia, and it’s also not the first time his claims have been challenged by professional archaeologists. Johan Normark, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Historical Studies at University of Gothenburg in Sweden who focuses on Mayanist research among other topics, took Thornton’s claims to task on his own blog. Normark has a lot of good information on his blog about the Maya/Georgia topic, also the comment section continues to poke holes in Thornton’s claims, and they do a better job than I have time for on this post.

So after some more footage of Wolter driving to epic music, we get some random shots of back country road signs and a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign posted on a random poarch. This again, is more like a Supernatural episode where the monster comes and eats you, than a documentary. Thornton eventually comes out and greets Wolter and straight off the bat tells him that there is definitely a Mayan/Georgia connection, and the Academics are trying to keep the truth from all of us by refusing to discuss it. This gets Wolter all riled up again about not being able to go to the Track Rock Gap site and they both have a moment of hate on the academic world. In these moments I think Wolter forgets that he’s trying to portray himself as part of that world, and that he’s got several connections in it with people I know. So I find these tirades humorous.

Eventually Thornton offers to show us some evidence of the Mayan/Georgia connection. The evidence that is provided is hearsay for the most part. He says there are cultural and linguistic connections, and similarities between the building construction. He even has some more pictures of the area where Wolter was not allowed to go. (Seems everyone but Wolter could get in, this makes me wonder what exactly Wolter did to get blacklisted, or did he even really try to go?)  This gets Wolter thinking, and he suggests Archaeoastronomy. We get a quick blurb on the scren about what that means, and it’s not a complete definition. It’s much more indepth than just “The ancient practice of aligning buildings with celestial bodies.” There’s reason for ancient peoples to do so, and it concerned real world applications like agriculture, not just a random whim. We’re also told the site is radiocarbon dated to 1000 AD, but the significance of this is not given. Thornton seems to back up what Haskell said about ceremonial structures and then adds that there are agricultural terraces, but fails to mention the irrigation channels or the pyramid base slab.

Thornton doesn’t actually provide any real evidence of anything, at least on the show. Yes, he shows us a few pictures of possible stone walls, but it’s very brief and they really could be anything. He claims this is what Mayan sites look like before they are restored by architects like him, but even Wolter seems underwhelmed by Thornton’s evidence. Thornton then provides a 3d map of the area showing the locations of some structures and possible terraces based off elevation data that we don’t know how he got. Again, as neat as this image is, it doesn’t prove anything except that there is indeed a site of some sort there, and we already knew that. Thornton randomly says there are some markers that have to do with archaeoastronomy, which has become the word of the day, but makes no effort to show them to us or explain why they are markers. His crowning piece of evidence is a circle that he’s labeled ‘Spring’, and we’re told it feeds the terraces, but again, nothing is provided as explanation. To make matters worse, the 3d graphic the show begins to use here sets up the map to look like the spring has something to do with archaeoastronomy, which we’re never clear on if it does. **Update 11/1/14**: According to Thornton’s comments below there is some 8+ hours of tape that were never used in the episode. This only further leads me to believe that the show is participating in cherry-picking in order to create a narrative that is entertaining over informative. I understand that some editing must occur, however, they seem to leave quite a bit out that would have been more informative if left in.

So at the end of this visit Wolter again wonders why he can’t go see the site himself, and by now I am beginning to notice how much like Erich von Daniken he sounds like. Von Daniken has always resented that he can’t just walk into any archaeological dig he wants, regardless of safety or security issues. Wolter is beginning to sound the same, and I’m seriously doubting the validity of his claim at this point. But since Wolter can’t see the site with his own eyes, he’s going to do the next best thing, LiDAR!

At this point we’re 10 minutes into the show…just letting you know.

The LiDAR crew gets exciting and dramatic adventure type music as we soar over the area that is presumably the site in question in an airplane. Chris Guy and Jamie Young are our LiDAR experts, and Guy gets to be the one to explain how the machines work. He also gets to be the one Wolter explains to that there are Mayan Pyramids down there and that he’s sure the LiDAR is going to pick them up and prove him right. Also, he can’t go down there himself and look because the Feds won’t let him. Guy looks less than impressed with Wolter’s ideas, but manages to get through it.

Once we get back to the ground, Young helps us go over the data that was recovered by the LiDAR and sure enough, some structures start to pop up. Again, we already know there is a site down there, so the fact that we’re seeing man-made structures really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, LiDAR images are really cool to look at, so we can forgive Wolter for being so excited by them. Wolter again explains the Mayan thing, and Young expertly doges the whole conversation, well done sir.

I’m also noticing how much money the History Channel has to throw around here, and I would really like them to give me a show where I can go head up a real archaeology dig and actually afford to use all the cool toys and get all the post excavation data analysis done. Seriously.

Anyway, we’re finaly at a commercial break here, and the show kindly sums up the evidence we have so far. 1) Piles of unidentified rock that could be anything, 2) archaeoastronomy, because things line up with stuff in the sky. Is it random? We don’t know, and 3) Terraces, which aren’t evidence of anything beyond the possible practice of agriculture.

We also randomly decide to go to the Forsyth Petroglyph in Athens, GA., because it’s a possible stone clue. Clue to what, I have no…ah…clue.

Anyway, while we’re here watching Wolter get really personal with a large chunk of rock (seriously, it’s a little creepy), we meet Gary C. Daniels, author of ‘Mayan Calendar Prophecies‘. Daniels appears to be another tv content producer who has worked with History Channel in the past on more Mayan Doomsday related stuff. Also, there was something about him doing a masters thesis for a website, but I’m pretty sure that was just poorly worded, since otherwise, it makes no sense. Anyway, both men agree they like the look of wet rock, and then discuss the meaning behind the rock, kind of. Daniels tells us that the rock is a Starmap that recorded an event in 536 AD which was apparently a comet impact. Also, the Maya and the Creek peoples used the same symbols to record the same event. Other than a few shots of nested circle symbols that Wolter insists on calling spirals for some reason, and a few shapes that look like teardrops (but we see them so briefly they could be anything,) we don’t get any explanation for the rock or the symbols on it. We’re just expected to accept whatever Daniels says without reason. I’d like to know how Daniels know the symbols represent a comet impact, which ones are the stars? WHich one the comet? and which ones look like Mayan symbols over not Mayan symbols?

The best description I can fond of the Forsyth Petroglyph is on the Eastern State Rock Art Research Association website.

Visitors to the University of Georgia in Athens will find two petroglyph boulders on the campus grounds. One is located next to the Museum of Art. The other is within an enclosed garden at the School of Law. These petroglyphs were removed from their original locations in the 1960s. The original location of the stones was near Cumming, Forsyth County, Georgia. The petroglyphs are carved on coarse crystalline granite. Design elements include concentric circles, stick figures, and cupules. Archaeologists believe that the petroglyphs were made by ancestors of the Creeks or Cherokees dating back to Late Woodland period (c. AD 1000).”

So the Forsyth Petroglyph actually predate the Creek culture, therefore the Creek and the Maya couldn’t have “used the exact same symbols to record the exact same event.”

Since we’re on a random tangent about petroglyphs, Wolter decides now is a good time to mention Mayan Blue. Not because he has any around, but because now seems like a good time. Daniels agrees that he knows what it is, and Wolter claims the Mayan’s were getting the clay used to make Mayan Blue from Georgia, because…we don’t know yet, and Wolter isn’t telling.  Just to keep on topic, Daniels mentions that he knows of a Falcon Dancer Plate that was found somewhere in Georgia and that it matches another relief in Chichen Itza. Also, somewhere in Georgia there is one skull that shows signs of cranial deformation, the practice of shaping the skull of babies to achieve a flattened look in adulthood, which was practiced by Mayan Elites, and also other peoples. This is a very random segment in the show where we’re just throwing things at a wall and seeing what will stick. In reality none of this is evidence of a Mayan connection, as most of it is again hearsay. To Wolter’s credit, he’s not claiming aliens for any of this, so points to him on that.

However, both Daniels and Wolter degrad into a tirade about academics and their evil pains to keep the truth from real researches, like him and Daniels. Daniels makes a joke about how science changes one death at a time, and Wolter exclams that he’s not going to wait for these guys to die off, he’s getting answers now! I’m forced to reflect on if Wolter has asked any questions yet? Mostly he’s just told us what he wants us to believe and paraded an array of unaccredited men in front of us, telling us to believe them too for no reason. Then he rants about ‘armchair’ academics who don’t agree with him or who constantly point out his lack of evidence. I’m forced to wonder if Wolter actually understands how archaeology works, and judging by his constant misconceptions and criticism I’m guessing he doesn’t. I find this weird because I know that he knows some very good archaeologists who have explained how all this works to him before.

But we’re off to Ocmulgee Mounds in Macon, GA., where we’re told we’re “visiting a related site.” Daniels shows us one particular mound that looks to be tiered. Wolter says its a spiral mound and Daniels makes a strange claim here that the only other one in the world is located in Xochitecatl, Mexico. Daniels also explains that the Creek peoples still practice their Snake Dance on this mound, where they walk around the mound in procession till they reach the top. Since we’re only shown the site from a forested trial, and bearly for more than a minute, and then it’s covered up by Wolter comparing it to a photo image, we can’t really tell where we are. Also, we don’t get very close to the mound either, and its a really bad angle. It makes me suspicious as to why they chose to use such a crappy shot of this spiral mound if it’s so special. But if we are where they say we are, then the mound they are looking at is part of the Lamar Mounds and Village Site, and the particular mound they’re looking at is Mound B. This mound is completely round in shape and has a spiral ramp going all the way up to the top. Dr. Mark Williams, the investigating archaeologist of this location, believes that the ramp plus other evidence suggest that the mound was in the process of being expanded when it was abandoned. What’s most important about this mound is that it, again, predates the Creek culture to which Wolter and Daniels need to it fit in order for their Mayan/Georgia idea to work.

We also spend some time looking at a reconstructed earth lodge that faces the rising sun. We’re told this is also evidence of Mayans because no one else ever in the history of the world would ever have thought to build a mound that faced the rising sun, ever. At this point the not-evidence that is being pushed as evidence is getting, as Wolter likes to say, Silly. This doesn’t slow Wolter down though. He decides if he can fly to Mexico and find one thing there that looks like something here, he’ll have proven the Mayan/Georgia link, academics be damned!

So now we’re off to Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico. This time the drive footage is Wolter in the back seat, but we still get the epic adventure music.

Once we’re there we meet Alfonso Morales and actual Mayan Archaeologist. For real, this guy is an actual academic archaeologist with 30 years in the field. He’s also a huge debunker of the whole, Mayan Prophecies crap, so I have to wonder what the show told him in order to get him to be on it?

Well anyway, once in Chichen Itza, Wolter makes an almost profound statement. He say that “Many people think the Mayans died out completely, but they didn’t.” He’s right, the Mayan people still exist, they are a living, breathing, marginalized, ignored, and rightfully tick off people. Things like what Wolter is trying to do here, kind of tick them off, but no one ever goes and asks their opinions of this kind of stuff, so on with the show. Morales handles Wolter with grace and ease. Wolter tells Morales about his whole Mayan/Georgia connection thing and Morales agrees that it could be possible, which surprises Wolter so much he actually replies with “Oh, so you agree with the speculation, then?”

Wolter also mentions the LiDAR images to Morales and says it’s similar to what we sees here. I have no idea what that means, and from Morales look, neither does he, but rolls with it anyway. He seems to sum up his stance on Wolter’s idea by smiling and saying “Maybe if you could find a Mayan up there or we can find a Georgian down here.” He seems to be implying that Wolter needs evidence to back up these claims. Wolter goes on about the Forsyth Petroglyph, comparing the nested circles to the obvious spirals on the temples. Then Wolter brings up the whole 2012 thing and Morales patiently explains why Wolter is wrong.

One thing that is interesting is the Falcon Dancer and the Bird Man motif. Morales shows Wolter relief on one of the temples that looks similar to the supposed bronze plaque he got from Daniels. The reason for this is trade. There’s been known trade routes from Mesoamerica to America for some time now. Nothing direct, but slow, hand over hand trade moving goods and ideas from one end of the continent to the other, but I don’t think Wolter knows this.

Finally, Wolter brings up Mayan Blue and Morales takes him to see a sinkhole that is a sacrificial pit for children to the rain god. He explains to Wolter how the Ancient Mayans possibly painted the children blue, before sacrificing them to the gods. Thus there is a large amount of Mayan Blue clay at the bottom of the sinkhole, along with the remains of the victims. I’d like to point out here, the whole time Morales is explaining this to Wolter, we’re being shown images of ‘savage’ Mayans, killing and ripping out the hearts of other unidentified ‘savages’. It’s very predictable, disrespectful, and an extremly tired trope. Can we please move past this crap imagery of native peoples? Anyway, Wolter explains to Morales how he thinks the clay used for Mayan Blue comes from Georgia, and at this point Morales seems to be so used to Wolter explaining stuff to him, he just smiles and nods.

Once that was over, we’re magically back to Wolter’s lab in Minnesota, where Jamie Young is explaining LiDAR again. He shows us the data that his company recovered from the flyover of Track Rock Gap (remember that place?) and tells us how it matches up with Thornton’s 3d map. This shouldn’t be a surprise since Thornton’s map was created using elevation data, so all it really does is prove Thornton’s data was good data. Remember, we already know there is a site there, so this isn’t proving or telling us anything we don’t already know. There’s also data from a flyover of Mound B from the Lamar Mounds, but again, nothing new here.

So with all his not-evidence piling up, Wolter decides the linchpin in his assemblage will be proving that Mayan Blue is made with Georgia clay. We’re introduced to his young lab assistant Adam, and we spend several minutes watching Wolter make Mayan Blue while CSI style music blares in the background. During this time Wolter makes another claim, “If the Georgia clay in my samples matches x-ray results of real Mayan blue, then we have a hard geological link between the Mayans and Georgia.” Which, if I may say, No you don’t. The only thing this test is going to prove is that, chemically, Georgia clay is similar or identical to the clay used in making Mayan Blue. This is not the same as saying, Georgia clay is the only thing that could have been used to make Mayan Blue. You see, this is where a huge discussion about Soils and, soil composition and association should have occurred, but it didn’t. It is incredibly misleading to even suggest what Wolter is saying here and as a geologist, Wolter should know better. Especially after he admits that there are known sources for the clay used to make Mayan Blue in Mexico.

But we go to the X-ray Defraction Lab of the University of Minnesota anyway with a sample of the clay. At this point it becomes evident that we didn’t really need to make the Mayan Blue, because what we’re testing here is the clay itself, not the finished product. We meet Nick Seaton who is a Defraction Specialist at the University, and he doesn’t seem all that thrilled to have Wolter there. Wolter gives Seaton the whole Mayan/Georgia connection and the camera spends a lot of time not showing you Seaton’s face when Wolter is talking because Seatan is having a hard time not looking either board or ticked off. However, we do run the sample and compare it to actual Mayan Blue, and low and behold, it’s a match. I’m not even a little surprised, because again, this proves nothing except that the chemical makeup of the Georgia clay is similar to that of the clay used to make Mayan Blue. Again, this is not the same as saying that Georgia clay is the clay used to make Mayan Blue.  (I know this is going to be a sticking point). Despite all of that, Wolter is thrilled and immediately begins crowing about how he was right all along and how he’s proven academia wrong.

Thankfully at this point the show is over, and we’re basically wrapping up the not-evidence and as Wolter is going over his list he says there has to be a Maya/Georgia connection and “Whatever it was it must have involved archaeoastronomy.” This is perhaps one of the most nonsensical things he’s said all episode, especially since he spent no time making any argument of the sort. It’s just a random throw away statement that proves to me that Wolter has not clue what archaeoastronomyis, he just likes saying the word.

In Summary

The evidence Wolter provides thorough out the show is as follows:

1) Ruins – Before we go further, let’s understand that there is a known archaeological site in Track Rock Gap. It was examined by Dr. Mark Williams at the University of Georgia, and has been written and cited in several papers authored by Dr. Williams. Understand also, that the Track Rock Gap area is open to the public and is free to access, so basically anyone can got here. Wolter’s claim that he was denied access was either because he failed to get proper permission to be on a protected archaeological site, or he tried to sneak in and endangered the site. All other ‘evidence’ presented to support the site being of Mayan origins was hearsay, poorly presented, and never verified in the show. The singular exception being the 3d map provided by Thornton, which was made using elevation data, and all that happened there was the map was verified by LiDAR data. Nothing new was learned or provided.

2)  Archaeoastronomy – It is clear to me after watching this episode that Wolter doesn’t understand the concept of archaeoastronomy. I’m not sure what he thinks it actually is, as he never really provides us with any idea. He just throws the word around a lot and people just nodded when he said it. The one exception to this being Morales, and Wolter basically talks over him the whole time he is there. The reality is that archaeoastronomy was used by most ancient cultures because they were agriculturalists and relied on knowing when the seasons were changing so they could get the best results from their crops. This translated into complicated religious cultures, with seasonal ceremonies and important buildings that aligned with certain celestial bodies during certain times of the year. This is common across almost all agricultural cultures and is not evidence of any one culture being the originator over another.

3) Terraces – What the hell did terraces have to do with anything Mayan? This is never explained. Yet it’s still touted as being evidence of something.

4) LiDAR – All the LiDAR data did was verify the location of the site and the validity of the data used to create Thornton’s map. As we don’t know where Thornton’s data came from, since the source was never provided in the show, this is all moot.

5) Petroglyphs – These predate the Creek culture, so as Wolter’s claims stand as presented in this episode, invalidate them as evidence. Also, they don’t even begin to match the Mayan symbols seen at Chichen Itza. Also, how does Daniels know how to read these glyphs?

6) The Falcon Dancer – First, the exact discovery location of the Dancer was never stated. It was ipled that it was found near Track Rock Gap area, but it wasn’t. Second, this is a very common image found all through the southern area. Third, and this should be of little surprise, there were well known trade routes reaching from Mesoamerica into the area. We know this, we’ve known this for decades. It’s kinda what archaeologists do. When we find similarities like the Dancer, we track them down and find out where they came from and how they got here, and most of the time it was trade. Please quit thinking of ancient peoples as being backward and ignorant. They were intelligent, resourceful, active people, who liked trading things.

7) Linguistics, Culture, etc. – Again, any evidence provided here was all hearsay and never presented in real life or verified. Most of it was mentioned in passing and never really looked at in the first place.

8) Mayan Blue – This was a massive red herring Wolter used to give a science-y edge to the show, complete with a Mr. Wizard meets CSI montage. It literally means nothing of importance and proves nothing of substance.

Overall, Wolter paraded a variety of men before us. Most of whom we’re meant to believe outright, without question. None of them provided any actual evidence, nor proved any actual controversy. That’s the most confusing part of this whole thing, there is no controversy. It’s never explained to us why we should care about this Maya/Georgia connection, we’re just told that we should. Who cares? What changes if this is true?

Finally, Wotler’s explicit disregard for the actual Creek, Cherokee, and Mayan peoples is simply shameful. The Creek and Cherokee even created a video helping to debunk the whole Mayan thing. And the Mayans? What does Wolter seem to think about them? I think the way he treats Morales and portrays the Mayan sacrifices speaks volumes.

**Updates 11/1/14** I have been contacted by both Haskell and Thornton after the posting of this article. Both of them have made it clear that there is a great deal missing from their statements to the show. I have offered Haskell the chance to clarify his position, and he respectfully declined. The offer stands should he change his mind, but I understand if he does not. Thornton, I feel, has made his position clear, and I have corrected the related sections appropriately. You can read his comments in the sections below, as well as follow the links provided in text to get a better idea of his claims and evaluate the evidence yourself.


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49 thoughts on “Mayans in Georgia: America Unearthed Episode One. **Now With Updates!**

  1. John

    The Totonac are/were a Mesoamerican culture along the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, possibly associated with the site of El Tajin.

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  2. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #3 | Doug's Archaeology

  3. Pingback: A 12th Century Englishman in Arizona : Unearthed America Episode 2 | Archaeology Fantasies

  4. Diane

    Thanks- I just finished watching this episode and even I , a retired music teacher, knew it was a lot of hype without substance. Guess it makes for ‘good TV’……

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  5. Dear Mr. ArchyFantasy, before publishing words in public, one should be sure that they are accurate, especially if one intentionally make false statements about a licensed professional architect. Using a pseudonym will only worsen your prospects in court. I am not a TV celebrity, so I can easily pick up the phone after finishing this commentary to call a Downtown Atlanta law firm. They would have you living in an old used car that your sister loaned you in a matter of months.

    Since the pilot of America Unearthed was filmed, we have identified at least 14 terrace complexes in northern Georgia, the NW tip of South Carolina, NE Alabama and SW Virginia. By far, the greatest concentration is a band running southward from Track Rock Gap into NE Metro Atlanta. We are working with county planning agencies and local historic preservationists to document and protect the sites. The Apalache Foundation is applying for grants to fund archaeological digs at the largest site. I was selected as president of the Apalache Foundation.

    We also now have in our possession the largest known indigenous stone statue of a human in North America. It is 16 feet tall and was found at a stone architecture site in NE Georgia. The face of the figure is coated with Maya blue. He is wearing a turban and the symbol of the Creek Wind Clan on his chest. We can see a 28 feet tall stone statue near the banks of the Oconee River nearby. Until the engineers can figure out a way to lift out of a gorge, it must be labeled, “probable.”

    Only about 7 minutes of the History Channel’s 8 1/2 hour interview at my mountain cabin made it into the final cut of “America Unearthed.” All of the comments above would have been answered by what was deleted. However, when you slander a professional architect, that is no excuse. All of my credentials are public record at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. That is why we are officially called “Registered Architects.”

    You said that I had no credentials? Let’s start with the fact that unlike you, I have the balls to use my real name when writing articles in a public arena. However, that is not relevant to the subject matter. Here are some highlights from my bio that are relevant. I am a Creek Indian. Like most Georgia Creeks, approximately 12% of my Native American DNA is Maya. Virtually all the Eastern Creek words having to do with architecture, political offices, agriculture and trade are Itza Maya words. They are documented in several of my books.

    Education? Seven years of university education – I am a graduate of both Georgia Tech and Georgia State – included being the first recipient of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled me to study Mesoamerican architecture and town planning under of the auspices of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexican City. One of the greatest archaeologists of the 20th century was my fellowship coordinator – Dr. Ramon Pina-Chan. That was the beginning of my career in 1972. In the years since then I have taught the subject at Georgia Tech and lectured at many universities around the Southeast.

    In 2005 the National Council of the Muscogee-Creek Nation began hiring me to carry out a series of research projects because they were fed up with the gross inaccuracies that Caucasian anthropologists were teaching in the Southeastern universities. Those research projects have led to the completion now of 14 books.

    I am also a very good architect and city planner. The State of Oklahoma selected me to be the architect of its Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa, Oklahoma even though I lived in Georgia.

    You have 24 hours to print a retraction or you will be getting a summons to appear in the Federal District Court of North Georgia in a civil suit for professional libel with malice. I hope you don’t retract your foolish statements, so in addition to making me wealthy we will find out what your qualifications are to publish opinions of Native American culture.

    Like

    • I will be glad to update the blog post with the information you have provided. Thank you for contacting me regarding your credentials, I am happy to share them with my readers.

      Like

    • //Dear Mr. ArchyFantasy, before publishing words in public, one should be sure that they are accurate, especially if one intentionally make false statements about a licensed professional architect. Using a pseudonym will only worsen your prospects in court. I am not a TV celebrity, so I can easily pick up the phone after finishing this commentary to call a Downtown Atlanta law firm. They would have you living in an old used car that your sister loaned you in a matter of months. //

      I’m sure you would be able to document that the auhor has actual malice of intent, per New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex-cgi/wexlink?wexns=USR&wexname=376:254)

      Otherwise, I am sure you are familiar with a wonderful document called the Bill of Rights. Included in this document is an amendment (The first, I believe) which allows for freedom of speech.

      If you feel threatened by an anonymous blog entry, I have a feeling that you may possibly (an opinion, mind you, not a diagnosis) have narcisstic issues and therapy might be helpful.

      I realize that your work is your passion and that you feel that you have been wronged. However, flaming across a blog post has painted a target on your back. Be glad that someone like me is the first to confront you on this issue, and not someone who frequents 4chan, Altalavista, or some other dark corner of the Web.

      Like

      • Archy Fantasies is just the name of this person’s blog and podcast. Does it really matter if they are doing what you claim? You shouldn’t make threats unless you know all of the facts.

        Like

    • gerry

      Mr. Thornton, you wrote, “We can see a 28 feet tall stone statue near the banks of the Oconee River nearby.”

      I will eat my hat if you “found” a 28 foot tall statue near the banks of the Oconee. I have lived in the mountains of northeast Georgia all my life and I can tell you that something as large as a 28 foot, stone statue would not go unnoticed by the locals.

      I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but, I don’t believe you 😉

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      • It was noticed by the locals. That’s why we know about it. It is on county-owned property thank goodness – so it is safe. It was exposed by rushing waters. Anything I wrote before this past summer is obsolete – amazing discoveries were made this year by some amazing people. Our understanding of Georgia’s past is changing so fast now, that I am hesitant to say that anything is an absolute fact.

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      • If you could provide more information about this, that would be appreciated. I have looked and spoken with others and can find nothing about this statue. 28 feet would be rather noticeable, so I’m puzzled as to why no one seems to know about it.

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      • I am a professional architect. That is confidential information for my clients to divulge when they are ready to announce the discovery to world. I assure you that if your friends are at the University of Georgia, they will not get a penny from the grants that our foundation is getting to hire archeologists. We Creeks have long memories.

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      • No offense, but that’s a cop-out answer, and I have no earthy idea why architects would be involved in a professional archaeological discovery outside of consultation. Also, I seriously doubt that the state of Georgia is going to hand over something as culturally sensitive as a discovery like this to non archaeologists, especially since there are several well trained native archaeologists who would be ecstatic to handle it. It sounds like you have an ax to grind and are trying to wave a fake discovery around to bait people. Problem is, this is a little too sensational to belive. If you can’t provide evidence to support this story you’re telling I’m chalking this up to willful misinformation.

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      • Who said anything about a statue being given to me? I will repeat my warning. You are an unemployed field technician, not a professional archaeologist. A nobody, who somehow has deluded herself into thinking that she is clever. If you ever slander me publicly again, you will not be left with much more than the clothes on your back. My attorneys already have your home address.

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      • Your attorney has nothing to sue me for. You need to look up what slander is before threatening to sue people over their blogs. Just because you don’t like people calling your claims out doesn’t mean that they’ve slandered you. If you can’t provide evidence to support the claims you make then people are going to question them, that is an essential part of science. So far you’ve provided nothing of substance besides that you are an architect, which is not an archaeologist, employed or otherwise.

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    • Meghan

      After watching this episode, I landed here in my research about the claims made. Thornton’s petty response here speaks volumes of his character. Writing this show off as another piece of sensationalism without true facts or scientific evidence.

      Like

      • Jackson

        Seeing that it’s just three months shy of a year from your post claiming you’ve observed a 28 foot statue, I ask.. well, where is it?

        Was this just another wild claim you can’t support?

        Did you threaten to sue the statue and scare it away?

        Like

  6. Carlos

    YOU TELL HIM

    Like

  7. Johns

    Wow I think I will stop watching the show after reading that comment… Seems like a undergraduate that doesn’t know how to react to criticism, no point in wasting time watching a show with such a presenter.

    Like

  8. Steve Croissant

    I just watched this episode. It was the first and last episode I watched. What a waste of time. Maybe someone can answer a question or two for me? Why would the establishment not want to admit to such a connection? And why would it be such a big deal if Mayans did move to what is now Georgia? This show never answered either question.

    Like

    • Hey Steve

      Good to hear from you. Committee Films interviewed me for about 8 hours at my cabin, but only showed MAX 5 minutes of that interview . . . leaving out a lot of details. They also didn’t tell you that the entire plot, including the suspicion that much of the attapulgite used in making Maya Blue was mined in Georgia. That was in my book.

      At the time that the USFS suddenly started refusing film permits for reputable networks like National Geo and the History Channel, I was appalled. They had allowed the Travel Channel to film there without any drama.

      Looking back 2 1/2 years the situation becomes clearer. The USFS office that refused to issue the permit was already in deep caca for requiring anyone doing business to their office to first make contributions to rightwing candidates. They had no director at the time. I have done some research and found that the personnel involved with the refusal to issue the permit were members of the Patriots, a rightwing paramilitary organization that is considered domestic terrorists outside the Southeast. There is a Patriots training facility adjacent to the Track Rock site.

      As for the Maya thing, it is not even a theory. Most Georgia Creek Indians, myself included carry about 10-12% Maya DNA markers of their total AmerIndian (actually Asiatic) DNA test markers. About 35% of the words in the Itsate language, which was spokine by most Georgia Creeks are modern Itza Maya words. In fact, the Itza Maya in Mesoamerica call themselves Itsate. Most of our words having to do with writing, agriculture, architecture, trade and political offices are derived from Itza words meaning the same thing. Since modern Itza Maya has absorbed many Yucatec Maya words, it is highly likely that the languages were almost identical 1000 years ago. Even now, Miccosukee Indian speakers, who use a dialect of Itsate, can communicate with some branches of the Mayas.

      Now, as they fortunately kept in the America Unearthed program, the Itza were just ONE of many peoples who settled in the Southeast. The modern Muskogean tribes are the result of much mixing between several ethnic groups, including the Panoian peoples of eastern Peru. Think of it as what happened in the United States. Peoples came from many lands and their cultures mixed . . . but English traditions stayed dominant in the USA and Itza traditions stayed dominant in the Creek Indians – but they were not the only influences.

      I was raised being told that Maya refugees came to Georgia a long time ago and became some of our ancestors. Most archaeologists refused to listen to us. Nevertheless, the coordinator of my fellowship in Mexico, Dr. Roman Pina-Chan strongly believed that there was two way travel between Mesoamerica and Southeastern North America. The man who helped me get that fellowship, Dr. Arthur Kelly, (at that time director of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia) also believed that Mesoamerican traders had come to Georgia many times. This is because he had found artifacts along the Chattahoochee River, which he felt were Mesoamerican in origin. Dr. Kelly was sacked from his position by a clique of archaeologists, who went into a frenzy whenever anyone mentioned close encounters of a third kind between the Mayas and the Creeks. That faction is still running the show in the Southeast.

      Well . . . since the program was filmed, we have found at least 14 more terrace complexes in Georgia. I am a very busy man, analyzing these other sites. SO . . . as Rhett Butler said in “Gone With the Wind” – Frankly, I don’t give a damn, what anyone says about the “Mayas in Georgia Thing.” It’s a fact and now we have moved far beyond that point of understanding.

      Richard Thornton Architect & City Planner

      Like

      • You’re an architect and city planner. Why don’t you have any archaeology, history, or anthropology credentials if this is your line of work?

        Like

      • boogerTwashington

        “Most Georgia Creek Indians, myself included carry about 10-12% Maya DNA markers of their total AmerIndian (actually Asiatic) DNA test markers.”

        You lack genetic population studies. Mayan and other various tribes of South America are used as panel population groups for DNA commercial ancestry testing. First Nations and North American indigenous groups are not used. People with Native American ancestry (Lakota, Cree, Mohawk) if present will cluster to that panel. They will also show Asian as well. It does that mean they actually stem from these people. For example, if English and African people are used for the panel only and an Italian tests and no Italians are in the panel they will cluster to English.

        Like

    • Scott Wolter rarely reveals why the “book” would need to be re-written, or how history would be forever altered, etc. There is also some sort of bizarre conspiracy in his mind that academia has created a fictional tale of the past and refuses to allow any outside research to change that. Primarily because when he presents his b.s. findings he gets ripped to shreds.

      As far as the Mayans, it wouldn’t be. Even if they did, it is obvious the last impact was minimal at best. More logically any goods that seem “Mayan” are likely goods acquired through trade, etc. such as the “Prestige Goods” of the Mississippian culture.

      Like

  9. Pingback: Conspiracy Backing | christophercolumbusconspiracy

  10. tyrone slothrop

    I find the claim that “About 35% of the words in the Itsate language, which was spokine [sic] by most Georgia Creeks are modern Itza [sic] Maya words,” an absolutely ludicrous claim. Given that C. Andrew Hofling has compiled a number of valuable grammars, texts, and a dictionary of Itzaj (and, I might add, has done some of the difficult work of internal reconstruction on Mayan languages), we actually have a decent understanding of contemporary Itzaj. When one compares Itzaj with what we know of Hitchiti, we do not find that “about 35% of the words” are modern Itzaj Maya words (that is, if one relies on the tested methods of historical linguistics–if one engages in rampant speculation and cherry-picking, then who knows). Itzaj Maya is completely unrelated to any Muskogean language. If there were 35% overlap, it would be rather obvious to discern this relationship.

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    • vatek1

      What I find amazing is all of these facts (So Called) being spewed about and not one reference to the source being quoted. Tyrone would you explain the connection between Muskoegan language and the Creek language and could you put some references to Mr Holflings papers or books that you espouse your authority in the linguistics of the two cultures. To a laymen I do not find a contextual linguistic cross reference between the two languages in any information I can obtain..

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  11. Dear Jenny – After watching the episode “American Maya Secrets” of “America Unearthed” with Scott Wolter as host, I was amazed at how uninformed he was and how disjointed his show was, things that you partly point out. Now I am surprised that you are doing some of the same things in your diatribe, which I mostly agree with. I am not credentialed in any of the fields above, but have been an independent scholar of the ancient Maya for over 20 years, and written lots of articles for fun in the IMS Explorer newsletter. First, why does everyone keep using the terms Mayan, Mayans and Mayas when referring to the Maya people. Maya is both singular and plural and Mayan is only properly used in the academic world for the language of the Maya, except for one of the 31 or so dialects of Mayan. Secondly, you said the Wolter “never really provides us with any idea” of what he thinks archaeoastronomy is. Actually, he gives an incorrect idea in a later episode in Pennsylvania, when he tells a hunter in Oklahoma that “archaeoastronomy has been used for thousand of years” by ancient people in their architecture. This is a misuse of the word, which clearly means “the study of astronomy as used by ancient people.” I didn’t look this up, it is my own definition based on the prefix and suffix. Since it is an archaeological term, the ancient Maya, as an example would have had to have been studying the use of astronomy by a much earlier culture to be using this science. It’s just another confused misinformation. It is also unfortunate that your spelling and grammar are enough to keep me from reading any more of your articles on this blog. If you are a scholar, then proofread or get a proofreader. My editorial OCD was in hyper-drive while reading your article. And although no single item by itself created a substantial connection to the Maya from the ancient people of Georgia, even though they may have been linguistic predecessors of the Creek, the combination of connections were actually convincing that there may be a connection, i.e. copper carving of the Falcon Dancer Plate, cranial deformation, archaeoastronomy and the Maya blue polygorskite connections. You provided another hypothesis for this connection that is possibly easier to believe than that the Maya migrated that far north, and that is trade. It would take a well done thesis or dissertation to state a more conclusive hypothesis, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it taken to its logical limits by someone at some time with the time and education to do so. Ignoring evidence because you don’t agree with it, rather than determining what the evidence does show, seems more scholarly to me.

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  12. Scott Wolter also ignorantly referred to the Spiral Building in Xochitecatl as though it proved some connection to the Maya. Xochitecatl is a Nahuatl name, and the site was built by the Nahua, who were probably the ancestors/predecessors of the Aztec, not the Maya. No connection to the Maya there.

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  13. after watching this episode I called bullshit right away. I’m not even in this field of study nor tend to be in the future I watched it as an outsider. at no point scientific papers were brought up to backup so called “evidence” it was all opinion the same opinions conspiracy theory nuts have. it has the same camera work and musical theatrics that any other “entertainment” show has now. bringing home a pay check to feed the kids is a good thing spreading misinformation is another. now some half wit will regurgitate this again and again and state it as fact because he watched it on the history channel. its a damn shame and if you take your self so seriously as you have in this flaming response to a blog that you happen to come across, you wouldn’t have done this half assed show in the first place.

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  14. Trackrock Native

    To someone who grew up within walking distance of the Trackrock Gap site, the idea that there was a hidden Mayan village is comical to put it nicely. I’ve examined Mr. Thornton’s map and his claims of not only a village complex complete with terraces and irrigation, but also a dormant volcano fumerole. What an imagination this fellow has! Mr. Thornton, this area isn’t exactly volcanic. And I’ve spent the last 30 years hiking and hunting all over the very mountain you make your outrageous claims about. No one, not one single local person (people that have made their living working and logging these woods) has ever heard of or seen anything remotely resembling a dormant volcano fumerole. Do you know why? Because it doesn’t exist.

    To anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of terracing or farming practices, one glimpse of the “terraces” at Trackrock is enough to dismiss this far-fetched fantasy. There are some stacked stone walls near the Trackrock site that follow no rhyme or reason with regards to terrain (as proper terraces should.) Stone walls like this are not uncommon in Trackrock, I can take you to several. But they weren’t put there by Mayans, or Creeks or even Cherokees. They were put there by poor white farmers who were clearing their fields to plant corn. I can introduce you to a few of the gentlemen who worked these fields as children. What today is a National Forest filled with hardwoods, was someone’s corn field as late as the 1930s-40s. Rocks inhibit plowing and were carried to the edge of the field and stacked up. Evidence of this exists all over this county. I know this. Many of these farmers were my family. And then someone with an overactive imagination and a blog sees it and makes an outrageous claim and the “viral” nature of the internet spreads misinformation.

    I only wish more people could see through these outrageous claims and stop feeding Mr. Thornton’s appetite for attention and credibility. He’s got a lot of people fooled.

    Like

    • Will

      I too live nearby. My friends and I have been to the site dozens of times, and we have GPS’d nearly all of the hundreds of stone structures, walls and cairns there. I would venture to say we know it better than anyone. These structures have nothing to do with farmers clearing fields. Seriously. NOTHING. The nearest fields are at 2,000 feet altitude. These big stones are above 3,000 feet. Think about it.

      I could envision surface mining having been done on the steep slopes. “They” had to do something with the rocks unearthed, so they made parallel walls and rock piles. Just my speculation. However, there is nothing even remotely like a pyramid there. A hydrolic structure is conceivable, Ceremonial sites . . . maybe. I did find a beautifully carved wing on a stone, and some other carefully tooled angular stones. Took photos. NEVER touched anything. Nobody should ever disturb anything.

      The site was carbon dated by Loubser (sp?) for the Forest Service, in 2002 I believe. . . he dated one long wall at around 800 AD.

      We also found the fumarole. Took a LONG time. It is small… but it IS real.

      The area above Trackrock Valley was probably once volcanic. It sure looks like a caldera, with the side facing the valley having collapsed outward. Study a topo map. it is pretty clear. Hey, the Blue Ridge Mountains were all formed by dusturbances deep in the earth’s crust.

      The Forest Service says it was the work of the ancestors of the Creeks. I agree completely. But where did they come from? Therein lies the mystery.

      Like

    • Yeah, I’ve been there a bunch. My family is from that area. I would really hope it is a native american heritage site. There was a village found at the Brasstown resort golf course a while back, and of course there’s a major Cherokee village under the lake at Hiawassee, so the area was inhabited heavily by native peoples for a long time. This area was also at the confluence between Creek culture, which was the older people of the area, and Cherokee culture. Cherokee culture is Iroquoian, they migrated down here and by the time of Andrew Jackson they had taken the area from the Creek in their little nation state they established.

      The “dominant fumarole” claim was outlandish. The Appalachians have not resembled volcanoes since the Cambrian era. If this site was native american in origin then perhaps it may not even be a village but just a ceremonial center, what with the connection with the petroglyphs nearby. There’s not enough evidence to tell, but if this was a Mayan site I would have expected much more sophistication and in the very least a clear set of Mayan glyphs that are identical to those from anywhere in the Yucatan.

      I am dismayed that this whole area could have been made by white settlers, or at the very least it was massively augmented from an earlier site established by the Creek, followed by the Cherokee, and at last worked by white farmers in the area. I would like to get a hold of the county records for lots in the area to see if Trackrock Native’s claim could be backed up. Perhaps the historical society for Union county could provide some information on the white farmers who inhabited that site.

      The USFS made a good choice to know better than to have amateurs make outlandish claims about the site. The Travel Channel was simply promoting tourism for what it was. I want to know the motives of these folks for ruining the History channel with these crazy narratives.

      Like

  15. Whitespyder

    What a petty article and a lot of negativity! It makes me sick! All of you should be ashamed of yourselves! Are people frightened that Georgia may be a Maya location? Does that idea make you shake in your know-it-all boots? I want to know why. I think it’s pretty bad ass.

    Like

  16. Josh

    I agree with Mr. Thornton. Those connections cannot all be coincidence. And we would prove it if there wasn’t a RIGHT WING TERRORIST MILITIA BUNKER PROTECTING THE SITE! THIS THING GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP! I’VE GOT A FEW QUESTIONS FOR GEORGE W BUSH! THERES PROBABLY LARGE RESERVES OF OIL AT THE SITE THAT THEY’RE PROTECTING! I’LL TELL YOU WHAT, BIG OIL IS FEULING THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND THIS MAYA GEORGIA CONNECTION WOULD JEOPORDIZE ALL OF IT. WE MUST KEEP UP THE FIGHT!

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  17. I do believe that stone foundations and mounds in the US are kind of common. It doesn’t require mounds. This is all it requires: I deas from Mexico make their way up the rivers to Georgia and the natives are like: OH my god. That is so cool! We need to do that here! So they build rock structures. End of story.

    And like you were talking about in one of the podcast episodes (can’t remember which one), that one guy got in b/c he had a permit. Walter didn’t say if he had a permit.

    And mayans become Creeks? That’s ridiculous. I don’t know. When I first watched this film, there was some stuff I actually kind of believed. But now, I’m just rewatching it for entertainment.

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  18. One of the best ways of knowing someone has a complete disregard for the facts is when they make massive and continual personal attacks. This website’ author denigration tactic’s prove the point that she has none nor will even list her real name or credentials. Something of an incredulous smoke and conning mirrors note. What a waste of time reading.

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  19. Kris

    It’s not implausible that there was interaction between Mesoamerica and the SouthEast. My understanding is there are very few artifacts, maybe one actual artifact found in the SouthEast that is from MesoAmerica. The fact that there is a lack of physical artifacts is telling that the interaction as far as trade commerce was not regular between Mesoamerica and the SoutEast. If interaction was regular there would be artifacts from both regions coexisting at sites. That being said, these people shared a common ancestor and it would not be surprising if there were cognates or similar sounding words. After all, we see similar words in European languages.

    Like

    • The lack of artifact evidence shows a lack of trade. And what do you mean by ‘common ancestor’, we all share a common ancestor
      .

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      • vatek1

        It is incredulous to me that you write under a pseudo name and I cannot find your credentials anywhere. I just finished watching this program for the 3rd time on History Channel. I feel that you are the one without an argument. The final closing statements within the show emphatically state that the mineral to make the Maya Blue pigment was mined in Georgia. That should be the end of your argument against Mr. Thonton or Scott Wolter.

        From the readings in the above blog it is apparently obvious you have an agenda. Whatever it is, if we could follow the funding of this blog ,yourself and associates, it would become obvious what your agenda is exactly! Just my 2 cent worth. Intellectually and Academically you are sparring with Mr. Thornton without any credibility except for the fact that you can. Good luck building any of the two previous mentioned attributes that is credibility and believable arguments. As a researcher, one must take great care in formulating a dismissal without proper investigation of the presented facts.

        Unlike, yourself I ventured to Trap Rock Gap (Sep, 2015) and it is indeed closed to the public and the Indian tribes are correct that is being desecrated by someone with unfettered access to the trails and from aerial views that I was able to obtain it is numaintained. It is being disrespected by its nearly complete overgrowth of vegetation. In 20 years there will not be anything salvageable for the Creek or anyone in my honest opinion. You would not find a US historical site in this condition nor would you find the complete dis-concern for its preservation as a Historical site.

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      • I wish this blog was funded.

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  20. Ed

    I think the show is great. I don’t think most people with a little common sense believe all that is presented on the program but it does create interest in some things I had never heard before. TV viewers are smarter than you think. I cannot believe for a second that a show could receive such negative comments. They are sparking interest in things many people have never heard about. As I said before give people credit for being smarter than you think.

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  21. Conspiracy theorists need a posse to live in their own little world where everything is right in their eyes. I think we should be reasonable rather than fantastical. None of you are qualified for these claims. Nobody cites your work. Richard L. Thornton’s work is not the work of an academic, it is the work of an architect. It’s merely a bunch of assumptions without any physical evidence. I hope to bring this to the attention of reputable academics that will undo all of steps taken backwards on this subject by crackpot theorists.

    Like

  22. Mike Jones

    I live in North Georgia and have read this blog entry and comments with great interest. So where is the 28 ft. statue? It’s over a year since that ridiculous claim was made and still…nothing. This is what you get when architects pretend to be archaeologists.

    Like

  23. Dawn

    Well…it’s just a theory…everyone has a good point…It is an interesting show…you can change the channel…but dont because can watch another very interesting show called “Ancient Aliens” with Giorgio Tsoukalos and start another Blog or Thread or whatever you like…because it’s good to keep an open mind about everything. It gets us thinking and that’s a good thing. The important thing is so much has not been discovered yet. We were taught that ‘Columbus’ discovered America. Now we learn there could have been others that were here before him…we are still learning and discovering. It’s in ‘our’ DNA.

    Dawn C
    Western NC

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  24. I am well aware that there are problems with this episode, however, since the Natchez have been shown to be Toltec immigrants, and the Mayans traded with the Florida tribes, it stands to reason that they were capable of living in nearby Georgia. No iron clad proof–but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Like

  25. Pingback: Irish Freemason Ritual Bath-houses in Pennsylvania. America Unearthed S1E8. | Archaeology Fantasies

  26. Rose McDonald

    Giorgio Tsoukalos’ comment was interesting. Especially ” None of you are qualified for this work. No one cites your work.” et cetera.
    Well, Mister Tsoukalos, what does your BA in sports information and communication qualify you to do?

    Like

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