Posted by: Johan Normark | December 23, 2011

2012: About the supposed Maya site in Georgia

Richard Thornton, an architect and design examiner who claims to be trained in Mesoamerican architecture, argues that there is a Maya site in the mountains of Georgia. In this article he presents the supposed evidence for it. However, we are not really presented with any substantial evidence, just statements like that the ruins “consisted of fort-like circular structures, walls, Indian mounds veneered in stone, walls, terrace retaining walls or just piles of stones”. It could just as well be Inca ruins for all I care. At the site there is a hill that has been sculpted into a five-sided (pentagonal) pyramidal mound and Thornton argues that pentagonal structures of clay are common in the Maya area. This is simply not true and he does not provide any examples of these Maya structures.

Now, Thornton’s main “evidence” is that the area was called Itsate on early maps. He says that “Itsate is what the Itza Mayas called themselves. Also, among all indigenous peoples of the Americas, only the Itza Mayas and the ancestors of the Creek Indians in Georgia built five-side earthen pyramids as their principal mounds.” No, only one group of Maya called themselves Itza and they for sure did not build five-sided earthen pyramids. Is the Castillo at Chichen Itza five-sided and built out of dirt or clay?

Five-sided and built out of clay?

Further, the basis for the ethnonym Aj Itza (Itza people) is Itz-(h)a or itz-water where itz refers to soul or essence. The Itza probably originated around the Peten-lakes and eventually ended up at Chichen Itza and some of them returned or stayed around the lakes where the last Maya kingdom was conquered in 1697. Sure, the Itza Maya moved around, but it is bizarre to believe they went all the way to Georgia to escape the collapse, to an area very different from where they originated. They had to penetrate huge territories of hostile states and would not have survived in the first place. Thornton seems to conflate the Maya with Mesoamerica in general.

I suspect we are dealing with a person who tries to cash in on the 2012 phenomenon because he has written a book on the immigration of Mesoamerican refugees to North America (note that the entire Maya area is located in North America). This book will be published in “early January 2012, and is entitled, “Itsapa . . . the Itza Mayas in North America.”” I fear that he will make connections between Itsapa and Izapa (the favored site for the galactic alignment theory that says that the Long Count ends one year from now). Another reason why I believe Thornton is associated with 2012 is that he makes a reference to Hunab-ku at the end of the article. Hunab-ku is the Colonial period Yucatec Maya name for the Christian God. It is the result of Christian mission that created Maya reducido, a language adapted to Christian beliefs. Hence, this is not their ancient supreme deity. However, it figures quite a bit in New Age beliefs regarding 2012.

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Responses

  1. Thanks,
    I knew that the claims reeked of rotten fish. I live in the area and not a single one of us has ever heard the word Maya when the old ruins crop up. The only Mayan ruins in North Georgia are made of legos and found in my daughter’s room. She is from Guatemala.

  2. Hmmmm. Interesting. Thanks for the info. It kinda makes me want to buy his book now just to see where he is coming from. Intriguing.

    • Well, I would suggest borrowing a copy instead of buying one. Otherwise you may be funding the spread of a hoax. I am a Mesoamerican archaeology grad student, have worked on Maya sites, and have never heard of a 5 sided Mayan pyramid either. Itzan or otherwise. Round structures are also diagnostically NON-Mayan.

      • Most buildings are not round in the Maya area but they are not non-Mayan. One of the strangest sites I have mapped in the Cochuah region consists of small round foundation braces that comes in pairs. They encircle a small cave and a ballcourt aims towards the cave.

  3. Felix Navidad a Prospero Annuos Neuveo!The Caracols (Observatories?) At Pelenque And Tulum Are Built In The Round.We Welsh My Be Geeffy Enough To Build 5-sided Pyramids.

  4. There A 4-story Observeratory At Pelenque The Caracol Is At Chichen Itza (well of the itzaes).The Yacata A Tarascan Fire Temple At Tzintzuntzan Has A Large(425x250mts.)Rectangular Base With 5 T-shaped Ik? Platforms With A Large Circular Extension At The Base Of The Stem.The Caracol Is Identified With The Pauahtun And The Bacabs And The Number 5.If Cacaoa Remains Could Be Identified There Could Be A Maya Conection.

  5. Well, OK, so I realized shortly after my last post that I should have qualified that statement. Round buildings are certainly not part of the Mayan architecture “standard” if I could use that term, but one should never say never, especially with a group as expansive as the Maya.

  6. Are there any traces of the Maya, anything at all, between the Yucatan or the Peten region in Guatemala, where Thornton claims the Georgian Maya originated, and the southeast US?

    Yeah, I thought not.

    So the Itza Maya spread all that distance, over centuries, without building a single structure, burying anyone, or leaving any artifacts.

    They must have been transported to Georgia instantly by the power of Quetzalcoatl.

    • I believe the famous Zelia Nuttall was the first to propose a link between Georgia (Etowah) and the Maya.(Comparison between Etowan, Mexican and Mayan designs in Etowah Papers (1932).
      And of course the dominant paradigm prior to the 1970s was that Mesoamerica and the SECC region were closely linked. A handful of scholars, including Timothy Pauketat, Peter Peregrine, Alice Kehoe and Stephen Lekson, have continued to champion theories very close to those of Richard Thornton, so leave your sneers to the person in the mirror.

      Perhaps a review of the literature might help your sarcasm.

      RETHINKING NORTH AMERICA; Timothy R. Pauketat pauketat@illinois.edu
      “My research interests in archaeoastronomy and ancient religion have been developed in part through my participation in a working group on pan-American cosmology at the Santa Fe Institute, organized by Linda Cordell, George Gumerman, and Murray Gell-Mann. There and in other ways I have benefitted from working with and learning from Robert Hall, who happens to also have done early work at the Emerald site, the focus on future work and key in what is going to be another radical change in how we understand Cahokia. Via Bob, others at the SFI, and influential figures such as Alice Kehoe, Mesoamerica has reemerged in what Steve Lekson would call a big-historical re-thinking of North America.
       
      Alice Kehoe:
      “Mesoamericanists will be interested in the connection I found between Osage priest texts and the Vienna Codex:
      Kehoe, Alice B. 2007. Osage Texts and Cahokia Data. In Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms, edited by F. Kent Reilly III and James Garber. Austin: University of Texas Press,
      and in this entire volume, which includes my paper suggesting the name Powhatan was a praise name from Maya Pahuatun:
      Kehoe, Alice B. 2005 Wind Jewels and Paddling Gods: The Mississippian Southeast in the Postclassic Mesoamerican World. In Gulf Coast Archaeology, the Southeastern United States and Mexico, ed. Nancy Marie White. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Pp. 260-280.

      Alice kehoe (wiki entry)
      “Kehoe emphasizes that, from these stale and false notions of ancient Native American history, much has been missed in the archaeological record of the Americas that is only just now coming to light. This history is now being reinterpreted through the new knowledge and understanding of peoples who built towns and even cities (e.g. Cahokia) of pyramidal mounds and other forms of monumental architecture surrounding huge ceremonial plazas. For instance, in examining the most recently discovered archaeological evidence of Cahokia, Kehoe suggests that this largest known center of Mississippian culture should best be termed a state. She argues that the Mississippian, often called “mound-building,” culture had close trade and communication links with civilizations of Mesoamerica (Mayas, Aztecs, their predecessors and contemporaries) and that this link is readily apparent from the archaeological record. She argues that trans-Gulf contact between the Mississippi Valley and Mesoamerica was quite likely, with communication and trade occurring either on foot, by canoe, or both, leading to clear similarities in the culture, religion, and art of the SECC, Midwest, and Mesoamerica (Kehoe 2005 Wind Jewels and Paddling Gods: The Mississippian Southeast in the Postclassic Mesoamerican World. In Gulf Coast Archaeology, the Southeastern United States and Mexico, ed. Nancy Marie White. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Pp. 260-280).
      Gulf Coast archaeology : the southeastern United States and Mexico /Authors:White, Nancy Marie. | Society for American Archaeology. — Meeting — (2001 : — New Orleans, La.)Published by : University Press of Florida,

      Archaeologist Alice Kehoe(professor emeritus of anthropology at Marquette University), is another prominent scholar who continues to support close ties between American and Mesoamerican cultures. Kehoe notes that the “Tolteca may have traded, perhaps via nations in the Huasteca, across the gulf and up the Mississippi lacks hard evidence (other than filed human incisors), but hard evidence for Highland Mexico itself in this period is relatively limited and subject to much debate…Evidence for contacts, for shared conceptualizations, does exist in similarities between Early Postclassic Mexico and contemporary Mississippian (e.g. Carlson 1981; Hall 1984; Gillespie 1991). Some of the strongest parallels are in iconography (especially if mound-and-plaza architecture is counted as iconography)…. Phillip’s tenacity in rejecting Mississippian-Mesoamerican contacts even when evidenced on Gulf of Mexico shells transported to eastern Oklahoma, is a strong example of the power of core beliefs in this discipline.”

      “the principle of actualism, not to mention Occam’s Razor, posits Cahokia to be a market hub, and one that was likely to ship goods downriver. Downriver from Cahokia leads into the gulf of Mexico and the ports of the Huastec and Maya. Huge platform pyramidal mounds constructed around great plazas-the central theater of power signaled by an imposing wall-neighbored by relatively well-constructed (wall-trench) houses with a variety of finely polished open bowls, cups, and jars, amid miles of hamlets among raised fields of maize and squashes? This form for a metropolis was standard in Mesoamerica…The parsimonious hypothesis is that Cahokia’s pyramidal mounds and plazas and ‘green city’ farmsteads and hamlets, which replicate the general Mesoamerican pattern of the urbs, embody architectural conceptions originating in Mexico.” (Assembling the Past; studies in the Professionalization of Archaeology at 169).

      Among archaeologists, there is a maxim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, yet this lack of evidence is offered as the primary grounds to dismiss decades of careful analysis of the links between the Mesoamerican and North American pyramid building cultures, even to the extreme of stating that such contacts can no longer be “seriously hypothesized.” The real question is whether there are plausible explanations for the lack of evidence of trade, and history is replete with examples of closed trading systems(US gunboats under the command of Commodore Perry shelled Japanese ports in 1853 in order to force them open to trade).

      Given the number of wars in history that have their roots in trade conflicts, the two cultures may have also simply agreed to trade in their own exclusive zones(the Mesoamerican one obviously extended into the southwestern United States). A state of hostile relations between the two cultures could also account for the lack of trade. The absence of evidence means very little in terms of what influence the two cultures had on each other, a link that may well go back to 3000 BCE, the Maya creation era of 3114 BCE.

      The Mexican Connection and the far west of the American Southeast
      Nancy White
      American Antiquity
      © 2008 Society for American Archaeology
      73(2) 2008 227-277
      Abstract
      New World archaeologists have long agreed that there was prehistoric cultural interaction between the southeastern United States and Mesoamerica, but seldom are the details of such potential relationships discussed, especially recently. The farthest westward extent of Southeastern cultural influences, as shown through the distributions of fiber-tempered pottery, Archaic and Woodland mounds, later platform mounds, ceramic styles, and other material culture, seems to be east Texas. Only a few Mexican artifacts have been found at the edges of the Southeast-obsidian at Spiro and coastal Texas, asphalt-covered pottery extending northward from Mexico into southern Texas-though general ideological connections, not to mention the sharing of maize agriculture, seem obvious. In northeast Mexico, outside the Mesoamerican heartland, Huastecan people made artifacts similar to types in the Southeast. But long-distance interactions overland or via the Gulf of Mexico were apparently sporadic, despite some common cultural foundations. Strong Southeastern cultural identities plus the presence of the north Mexico/south Texas desert may have discouraged movement into the Southeast of many important Mesoamerican traditions, such as cotton growing and beer drinking.”

      In less enlightened times during the post-World War II era, it was commonplace for scholars to suggest links between the Mesoamerican cultures and those of southern America, particularly Spiro, where the most prized treasures of SECC art were found. According to David Sutton Phelps:
      “Mesoamerican influence on the culture of the eastern United States has long been recognized and variously discussed in the literature of the past 60 years. While the majority of these discussions have recognized the existence of relatively direct diffusion from Mesoamerica to the Southeastern United States, they have dwelled primarily on attempts to correlate traits and establish the possible routes of contact…The cultural exchange between Mesoamerica and the Southeastern United States may have begun as early as 3000 B.C.” (“Mesoamerican Glyph Motifs on Southeastern Pottery,” by David Sutton Phelps, International Congress of Americanists, 1965).

      As late as 1968, Robert Silverberg would write that “Beyond much doubt the basic Mississippian ideas stemmed from Mexico, for they follow Mexican thought in many ways…Though the Mexican influence on Hopewell and Adena is still a matter for conjecture, there is little doubt that Mexican thought underlies the Mississippian Tradition.” (Silverberg; Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth, 296)

      .
      There is also a long history linking Spiro to the Huastec Indians, and recent research lists Tula, Hidalgo as a Huastec rather than a “Toltec” site.

      MacNeish (1947) gave a list of traits “which he believes connects Spiro and the Southeast with Mesoamerica, particularly into the Huasteca area of northeastern Mexico.” (James Griffin; An interpretation of the Place of Spiro in Southeastern Archaeology, 1950).

      Wicke (1965) noted that various scholars have considered the problem of Mesoamerican cultural influences in the eastern United States. They “agree in general on a Mesoamerican origin for temple mounds. Eastern temple mounds are larger than the earliest ones from Mesoamerica and, like them, are characterized by groups of four around a plaza, superimposed construction, frequent eastward orientation of the principal platform of a group, and capping by a temple structure. The Huastec region of northeastern Mesoamerica seems to show the closest architectural similarities to the southeastern United States.” (Wicke; Pyramids and Temple Mounds: Mesoamerican ceremonial architecture in Eastern North America; American Antiquity, vol 30, April 1965 at 409).

      On the other side of the border fence, modern Mexican scholars such as Alfredo Austin and Leonardo Lujan have no difficulty connecting the Mexican cultures to the “American” natives: “The
      Huastecs also had contact with the Mississippi Basin in the southeastern US, as shown by the similarities in the motifs on luxury items in both place.” (Mexico’s Indigenous Past; Austin et al at 264).

      Huastec art figures “frequently sport extensive and complicated tattoos” (just as the Tula encountered by de Soto had tattoos around the nose and mouth), and “many of the sculptures have adornments identifying them with Quetzalcoatl or with death gods.”(at 264). They also note that Huastec ceramics have been found at Tula Xicocotitlan in the state of Hidalgo, and list Tula as a “Huastec” site(at 264), which supports recent scholarship which views Tula Xicocotitlan not as a “Toltec” culture but rather as Huastec. Aztec myths also speak of a “Huastec Lord” at Tula(Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas; ed. Bruce Trigger et al, 184 ).

      • There is a crucial difference between the archaeologists and Thornton. Archaeologists argue that there was connection through trade. Some archaeologists, such as Peter Jiménez Betts (http://haecceities.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/decapitated-ballgame-player-with-connections-to-goteborg), argue for a vast world system ranging from the American Southwest to southern Mesoamerica. Obviously the northern part of Mesoamerica would have had the greatest impact on the American Southwest, not the Maya area. Thornton, on the other hand, argues for whole mass emigrations from the southern part of this “world system” (he is not using the term as far as I know) and makes some problematic assumptions about Maya architecture and the mega-drought hypothesis.

      • Maybe some DNA tests on the Hopi and the Maya and other North American and South American people would help to explain more about the connections, and relations between all the peoples.

    • OK, so if it is well established that the Purepeche (Tarascan) peoples sailed in 70 ft dug-out canoes from what is now known as Peru to settle in what we call Michoacan, Mexico around 800AD ~ a distance of WELL over 2000 nautical miles ~ Is it really so hard to imagine that folks sailed from the Yucatan to Florida ~ a SIGNIFICANTLY shorter distance ~ at around the same time? Oral history of northeastern indigenous peoples as well as meso-american peoples contain stories of trade, travel and ceremony from what appears to be the time of the existence of Lake Hitchcock in the northeastern US (it drained 10,000+/-yrs ago)… If, as the journals of Ponce de Leon suggest, Brasstown were originally a mining camp for export, it would be an established, known entity and therefore a logical place to resettle when the home-droughts became devastating. Obviously, they would not have engaged in mass-migration to the same area, which is why I bring up the Purepeche… They settled in the fertile hills inland & above a brutally hot, dry valley, rich in metal ores, being the first peoples to bring metallurgy to North America. It is likely that they had been mining there, protected by the harsh barrier of the valley’s microclimate for many generations before building their first settlement inland, thus exposing themselves to the ensuing 400 years of warfare with the Aztecs…

      • Well established? Give us some references.

      • I suppose “well established” is a relative term whether you’re transplanting trees, or ideas… I refer back to Bill Tiffee’s post in regards to the sways of paradigms…not necessarily on this specific subject, but within the greater body of thought regarding the peopling of the Americas…

        The the well-sited Harvard grad thesis I had recently read on this subject seems no longer to be found online… so I offer an excerpt from Vincent H. Malmstrom’s piece (w/ references) from Geographical Review, Jan. 1995:

        PURÉPECHA MIGRATION
        How realistic is it to postulate that the Purépecha are a group of late arrivals from South America? In terms of accepted interpretations of earlier contacts between the cultural hearths of the Andean and Mesoamerican regions, the premise is not only very possible but also extremely likely. As early as 1500 B.C. ceramic complexes started to appear on the Pacific coast of Mexico whose stylistic antecedents strongly point to Ecuador and Peru (Coe 1960; Adams 1991, 114). Around 1300 B.C. chamber tombs patterned on South American prototypes appeared in the lower reaches of the Santiago drainage basin in the present-day states of Nayarit and Jalisco and adjacent parts of Colima. However, some of the most elaborate and best preserved of these shaft tombs have been located as far inland as El Opeño in northwestern Michoacán, where the burial customs seemingly continued at least to A.D. 500 (Adams 1991, 115). In these same areas numerous clay figurines similar to those produced by the Chimu and Mochica cultures of northern Peru, as well as star-shaped maceheads reminiscent of the same region, have been discovered (Krickeberg 1982,354). Many of the cultural traits of western Mexico have closer parallels with Andean areas such as Colombia and Peru than they do with the rest of Mesoamerica, and the cultural evolution of the Pacific region must be considered as principally the product of outside influences (Krickeberg 1982, 359).
        In addition to the archaeological evidence is the ethnographic evidence provided by Rodrigo de Albornoz, the royal accountant of Cortds, who in a letter to the king of Spain in 1525 wrote (Warren 1985, 8): “According to the Indians of Zacatula, at the mouth of the Rio Balsas, their fathers and grandfathers had told them that from time to time Indians had come to that coast from certain islands on the south in large dugout canoes, bringing excellent things to trade and taking other things from the land. Sometimes, when the sea was running high, those who came stayed for five or six months until good weather returned, the seas became calm, and they could go back.”
        That contact between Mesoamerica and Andean South America began early and continued late obviously means that the intervening journey was completed successfully numerous times, with people, goods, and ideas being exchanged on repeated occasions. Of course, it would be impossible to gauge either the volume or the frequency of movement that passed along the Pacific coast in pre-Columbian times, but at the time of Spanish conquest canoes capable of accommodating seventy persons were being used (Coe 1960, 384). To hypothesize a migration between Ecuador and Michoacán it becomes necessary to determine the number of people required to form a credible nucleus for subsequent expansion of Purépecha settlement into
        western Mexico and the number reasonably expected to undertake such a seaborne relocation in terms of available craft.
        There are so many unknowns that answers can only be theoretical. On the assumption that the preconquest population of Purépecha speakers approximated that currently in the region, the total population would have been more than 80,000. If the annual growth rate of a subsistence level farming-hunting-gathering people can be averaged as .75 percent, then about seven or eight canoe loads of migrants arriving in A.D. 800 would have been sufficient to generate the population that existed in 1500. In other words, the scale of migration could easily have been sufficient to generate a pre-Columbian population the size of the current Purépecha-language group in Michoacán, and it could have been small enough to have been accommodated on a flotilla of very reasonable size.
        For nearly 3,000 years before the Spanish conquest of Mexico there seems to have a lively, continuing contact between Andean South America and the western coast of Mesoamerica. The migration of the Purépecha, who brought knowledge of metallurgy and a dialect of Quechua, was a belated part of that exchange, dramatic and lasting, but hardly an unexplained or surprising episode.
        CITATIONS
        Adams, R. E. W. 1991. Prehistoric Mesoamerica. 2d ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
        Brand,D.D. 1943. An historical sketch of geography and anthropology in the Tarascan region. New Mexico Anthropologist 6-7:37-108.
        -. 1960. Coalcomán and Motines del Oro: an ex-distrito of Michoacin. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
        Coe,M.D. 1960. Archaeological linkages with North and South America at La Victoria, Guatemala. American Anthropologist 62:363-393. Craine, E. R., and R. C. Reindorp, trans. and eds. 1970. The chronicles
        of MichoacAn. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Greenberg, J. H. 1987. Language in the Americas. Stanford, Calif.:
        Stanford University Press. Hosler, D. 1988, Ancient west Mexican metallurgy: South and Central
        American origins and west Mexican transformations.
        American Anthropologist 90:832-855. Krickeberg, W. 1982. Las antiguas culturas mexicanas. Mexico City:
        Fondo de Cultura Económica. Schbndube, 0. 1981. Las exploraciones arqueológicas en el area tarasca.
        La cultura purhé, ed. F. Miranda, 16-27. 11 Coloquio de Antropología e Historia Regionales, Colegio de Michoacán.
        Stanislawski, D. 1947. Tarascan political geography. American Anthropologist 49:46-55.
        Tamayo, J. L. 1976. Geografía moderna de México. Mexico City: Editorial Trillas. Warren, J. B. 1985. The conquest of Michoacán: the Spanish domination of the
        Tarascan kingdom in western Mexico, 1521-1530. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

      • People certainly moved around and since my knowledge about about both Michoacan and Ecuador/Peru is not sufficient I cannot provide other specific explanations for the possible similarities between the regions. In general though, diffusional models like this tend to blend data from different periods and areas into one whole mixture. The areas mentioned at different time periods are not even the same and the quote from 1525 only mention that people came from the south but not how far. It is a patch work and these usually do not stand the test of scientific scrutiny.

        With regards to your first comment, which relates to the Maya, explain to me why these people who were not miners in Yucatan (since there are no metals to mine in the limestone bedrock) suddenly would take up the practice in another location.

      • I visited your blog searching for clues to an immense mystery that lies within the forests here in northern Massachusetts. Mesoamerican archaeology is certainly not my area of expertise, but there are carvings of moon-faces, suns, serpents, siting notches w/ astronomer’s chair beside them (see Mysteries of the Mexican Pyramids, Peter Tomkins, 324), and many other deeply grooved symbols here that all bear striking resemblance to those found not only in mesoamerica, but northwestern Europe as well… It is noteworthy to state here that shaman from various, distinct mesoamerican peoples continue to have a connection here for deeply held ceremonial reasons, and that they claim this place to be holy and deeply connected to their past. I am told that it is within their dreams and visions to know how to get here… Who am I to cast doubt…

        As you state, People certainly moved around… How far and when is the stuff of our speculations and our studies… I mentioned the Purepeche because, if I understand it correctly, their arrival in Mexico approximates the supposed date of the “Maya site in Georgia”, and we certainly do find that there were extraordinary feats of open ocean navigation happening amongst us humans at that time. I make no claims that the Georgia site is or is not in fact Mayan in origin.

        To go back to the beginning, it would appear that I am the first person in this age to “see” the carvings on these northeast stones, and so I have begun my own long journey to bring them into the light. Meanwhile, they are being destroyed at an alarming rate…hundreds were just obliterated to make room for a “solar farm” a few miles east of here…

        I welcome any constructive guidance here… though I would prefer to move off-list. I had begun to analogize photographs of the stones and the symbols thereon, but this is on hold now due to the snow-cover.

        Sarah Kohler joyfarm@localnet.com

  7. The Hopi On Their Sacred Mesas Are Maya People,They Were Part Of The Cocoa Route From The Pacific Lowlands Of Guatemala To The Four Corners.The Maya Were Prolific Seaferers With Trade To The Tianios To The East And Carolinas And Possibilly Cape Cod To The North,Useing The Heavens To Navigate.

  8. The Hopi are not Maya people but they share some similar ideas. As far as I know there is only one known Taino artifact in the Maya area (a spoon). The Maya did not venture out into open sea in their canoes, they stayed along the coast line. If they ever went all the way Florida they would most likely have followed the coast line. There is no evidence for this supposed mass emigration but coastal trade did occur. See Finamore and Houston’s edited book “Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea” for more information.

    • Sitchin wrote in his books, that Ninurta, the storm god the son of Enlil about 12000 years ago gethered up Cain’s descendants, and went to South America with them and mined the gold nuggets from the river beds, and build a secret space port.When Marduk was exiled, he was roaming the lands where the big horned animals lived. , and when Anu visited the Earth about 6000 yeas ago, he asked to see Marduk, they found Marduk, and his son Nabu, but Marduk’s Earthling wife died somewhere in North America, and after Anu pardoned him, Marduk was fighting with his brother Ningishzida/Thoth
      For about 350 years, Marduk also changed the face of Ningishzida on the sphinx to his own son Asar. And Marduk and Enki exiled Ningishzida, and the people he came with to South America were the Olmecs.
      But Enlil was also exiled for a short time.
      In my opinion DNA tests on some of the beardless people in the South Americas maybe will connect them to some of the Jewish tribes.
      Ningishzida changed the DNA of Cain, but the only thing he changed,is that they are beardless.
      And maybe DNA tests will confirm all this.

      • Gilgamesh,Sounds Simular To Mormon Cosmology,With A Wiff Of Scientology.I Enjoy Myths And Legends,Especially Le Plongeon Translation Of Yuctec Inscriptions,Where Queen Moo Left The Itzaes After The Death Of Her Husband,Started The Egyptian Empire,Became The Godess Isis,Reincarnated As Le Plongeon’s Wife Alice.

    • Becoming Corn, Isis was The daughter of Nanar, Her twin brother was Shamash . Isis’s Husband was Osiris, Osiris was from the Enki clan and Isis was from the Enlil clan, and she blamed, that Marduk caused her husbands death, and she started the pyramid wars against Marduk, Marduk got sealed into the great pyramid, but Ningishzida who knew the pyramid, from the very bottom room made a rough escape tunnel, and blasted around the sealer rocks, and Marduk was resurrected, but exiled. Ninurta collected all the crystals
      from The Grand Gallery, that was not destroyed in the war, and he blasted down the cap stone.
      But the war never really ended between the Enki-its, and Enlil-its,
      and Isis never forgave Marduk,

      • Sounds My Own Family’s History,Especially The Rock Blasting.The Flesh Is Weak,The Sins Of The Father Are Suffered Onto The Second And Third Generation.We All Have Our Personal Tojil To Repay.I Enjoy The Meso-american Perspective That Hell Hounds Are Always On Your Trail And Whatever That Can Go Wrong ,Will,So Do The Right Actions And Take The White Road.

      • And the connection to the Georgia stuff is what?

      • Dr. Normark,It Doesn’t,Except We Are Mobile Units That Love Adverture And A Good Story
        regarde’

      • I was asking Gilgamesh though.

      • I would be interested to see what else is hidden under the Georgian mountain side, what else they will uncover?

  9. “Ma Na A Ta Winaq Ki-k’oje’ik”(More Than Ordinary People In Their Existence),The Nawales,Making Their Way From Orion,Would Have No Problem Taking The Midnite Train To Georgia.If Queen Moo Could Leave The Yucatec And Build The Egyptian Empire,Moving At The Speed Plasma Along Galactic Lay-lines,Childsplay For A Volador.Thank You For The Firey Pool Video.

  10. http://www.witzmountain.com/2012_Hopi.html Maize Cultivation Emenated Throughout The Americas,Also The Myths And Legends.What Do You Think About The Maya Ballcourt In Marshalltown,Iowa?Hopi Means Short Cob..

  11. http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf054/sf054a01.htm

  12. http://www.archaeology.org/1011/abstracts/chocolate.html

  13. http://sacredmistsblog.com/sacred-site-report-tamtoc-mexico The Huasteca Possible Bridge Population Of Maya Speakers,Carvers Of Monumental Sculpture,And The Creators Of Some Of The Meso-american Pantheon.

  14. The 4 ajpu katun is the eleventh prophecy that says: Chichen Itza. On the edge of the wells of the Water-Witch, is your seat. The Quetzal will arrive, the green bird Yaxum will arrive, Kantenal will arrive, he of the Yellow tree; the vomit blood will arrive for the fourth time. Kukulcan will arrive, Snake-Quetzal, in pursuit of the Itzas, the Water-Witches. The fourth time that the katun speaks, the fourth time it arrives at the Itza, the Water-Witch.

  15. Thank you, Johan, for pouring a bucket of water on the “Georgia Maya” hype. Examiner.com is a slick looking site with no editorial standards to speak of, so it was the perfect choice for Thornton’s piece.

    Building elaborate theories on the basis of corrupt transcriptions of native names (like “Itsate”) is a sport that I’m afraid we will never get tired of. Anyone can play.

    Here’s an example I made up to satirize claims that the early modern Chinese mariner Zheng He “discovered America”: It was the Ming Chinese and not the Spaniards who introduced the horse to the North American Indians. We know this because the Chinese-derived ping-pong strongly resembles pinto pony, proving that Zheng He was in contact with the Indians of the Great Plains.

    Somehow these tall tales and language games always end up belittling North America’s indigenous people. They couldn’t have built anything worth noticing, could they? Must have been immigrants.

  16. Yes they must have been immigrants, but were they immigrants from this world or did they come from outer space…? Here ís another genius who use the word Maya too prove that the ancestors of the Maya came from the Pleiades:

    “Maya is a key Hindu philosophical term meaning “creation of the world” and “the world of illusion”. In Sanskrit “Maya” is connected with the concepts of “great” “measure” ”mind” and “mother”. For this reason, it may not surprise us to learn that Maya was the name of Buddha’s mother. The Veda tell us that Maya was the name of a great astronomer and architect. In Egyptian philosophy the term Maya means “universal world order”. In Greek mythology Maya is the brightest of the seven stars of the Pleiades constellation. Mayab is also the name of the seat of the Mayan civilization-the Yucatan peninsula”

    (written by Semir Osmanagic, the man behind the Bosnian pyramid scheme).

    So, apparently, they first left the Pleiades, settled at Atlantis, moved to the Yucatan and ended up in Georgia…

  17. And now, Richard Thornton speaks . . . or should I use my Creek Indian name of Kawi-cope? Among other things I received a fellowship to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture under the tutelage of Roman Pina-Chan, Mayan director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia and one of the greatest archaeologists who ever lived.

    Lordamercy kingfish, I’z dooz beleave, I iz an expert.

    Well, shezam Andy . . . I have this here Itza Maya dikshunary from FAMSI and that thar expert said that there ain’t no such thang as an Itza Maya. I do clare.

    Okay . . . all of you self-styled experts on the Muskogeans and Mayas, raise your hand if you are either Maya or Creek?

    What? No hands raised?

    What no one above has mentioned is the fact most Georgia and South Carolina Creeks carry Maya DNA markers. Many words in our indigenous language are either Itza Maya, Choi Maya or Totonac. I am part Maya.

    Okay . . . let’s see . . . we call ourselves Itsate. We have Maya DNA in our cells. We use many Maya and Totonac words. We have have a tradition that Maya refugees (that we call the hene ahau) took refuge amongst us an introduced new crops, architecture and ways of living.

    Can anyone in the back of the class tell me what the Maya and Creek words “hene ahau” mean in English?

    Well, shucks, I bet you’uns sikooya (whites) from up north are so smart, that you’uns have already figured out another explanashun for the evidence. Guess I am gonna have to stop being a stupid savage running naked through the woods.

    I am so blessed to have sikooya tell everything I didn’t know about my ancestors.

    Oh . . . I forgot to mention that I was also the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa.

    • Two great signs of weakness immediately reveals in your comment. You think that your connection to Roman Pina-Chan gives you some credit. To claim authority because you have been affiliated with a “famous” person, in your words one of the greatest of all archaeologists, does not make yourself an expert. I have had Stephen Houston as a thesis advisor for my dissertation thesis, but it does not make me a better person. I do not bring him up to support my own claims. Only fringe “experts” feel that it is important to bring up such connections.

      The second sign of weakness is the usual “I know better because I am indigenous and you are not” argument. I do have Sami relatives in my ancestry, it does not make an expert in Sami culture, language and history. Self-styled experts are people who claim knowledge about a topic and have no formal education to support it. That makes you a self-styled expert with low esteem.

      Thornton, if you indeed are him (something tells me you’re not the one you claim to be be), you clearly lack any substantial experience of the Maya. Arguments like those in your comment above are ridiculous and you have not proven anything. Where are those five-sided principal mounds in the Itza-Maya area?

      • Ar du svensk, norsk eller dansk? I bet I know about your ancestors “gravshog’s” than you do.

        You are side stepping the issue. You obviously know nothing about the Creek Indians, our language or our heritage, do you? Scientific people keep their mouth shut, when they don’t have extensive knowlege of a subject.

        You know absolutely nothing, yet pretended to be an expert. You have never been to the Track Rock archaeological zone. You know nothing about Itza Maya commoner’s culture and was trying to be Mr. Bigshot before I caught you with intellectural pants down.

        A more relevant question is who in the world are you? I googled your name and found nothing. Google my name.

        To answer your question about five sided mounds. I have seen them in a band stretching from western Belize through northwestern Guatemala into the northern highlands of Chiapas. This was the stomping grounds of the Itza Mayas in the Terminal Classic Era.

        An excellent site plan showing several of them may be viewed at the website of Chawak But’o’ob, which is located in western Belize.

        By the way, do you known where the English coloquial terms “stomping grounds” and “yahoo” came from. Any expert on Native American culture would know that.

      • Your reply itself shows that you know nothing about my ancestors. Google translate does not work that well apparently…

        You are side stepping the issue of the blog post. Sure, I do not know much about the Creek Indians and you apparently have a very shallow knowledge about the Maya. The blog post is about your claims about the Maya, not what I know about the Creek.

        As for the “Itza Maya” commoners, I have mapped dozens of commoner structures in the Maya area (in the ejidos of Ichmul, Xquerol, Sacalaca, Saban, San Felipe and Tabasco) in the Cochuah region. There are a couple of peer-reviewed articles out there, as well as several field reports (see the publications section of this blog). You can always check them up before you continue to make a fool of yourself. Where are your peer-reviewed articles?

        So these, are the “five-sided” structures? Are they not actually seven-sided (they do have a top and a bottom as well)?

        You must have another version of Google than the rest of the world… Ha, ha. This is how it works. Google knows your own search history and it shows the pages that it believes suits your interest. If it primarily shows your name it probably means that you have searched and visited pages with you in it. It seems to fit your great admiration of yourself. Yes, I googled “Richard Thornton” and I see that there are 25 people with that name on LinkedIn and 535 people in the USA with that name. On the first page only two articles shows up that seems relevant to you (Examiner and dailymail). I guess you confuses popularity with credibility… Peer-reviewed articles give you credibility, not articles in Examiner. Hence, send your stuff to a major journal and maybe we can have a serious discussion after it has been published.

        Hence, a person who makes New Age references to Hunab Ku, believes similarities in words prove anything archaeologically, tries to cash in on the “Maya hype” this year, proclaims privilege of interpretation because of his ethnic affiliation and for having had a “world famous” mentor has stripped himself of not just his pants but all the clothes as well. Cardinal errors if you want to succed in archaeology.

  18. http://www.witzmountain.com/2012_Ballcourt1.html

    A Three Part Essay On The Ballgame In North America,The Zeal And Intensity Of The Players And Fanz,Has Not Deminished Over The Millenium.The Soccer Roit In Port Sauid Shows Our Tribal And Home-boy Nature.

  19. http://www.authenticmaya.com/ball_game.htm

    More On The Meso-american Ballgame Also That The Reduction Era Popul Vuh And Itz Conection To The San Bartalo Murals

  20. Penetrate “Hostile States”? Sorry, no states existed back then to protect. Also, this late Woodland Period (500-1000 AD) was a period which experienced territorial expansion, increased settlements, decreased cultural development and trade, increase raiding of established settlements. Large crop cultivation was not yet established. So I wouldn’t rule out continental migration at the very time that Mayan Culture Vanished.

    http://www.nps.gov/seac/woodland.htm

  21. The “Maya Culture” did not “vanish” during the whole period between AD 500-1000 and it seems from your own comment that the area had been expanding for several centuries before the so-called mega-droughts.

  22. OSIYO! I live in north Ga. and would really like to see this place were in Ga. is it? WADO! and one question… why is it so hard to belive that some Mayans may have migrated to and spread throughout the north American region? Mississippian art and Mayan art look so similar in many ways. Mound building cultures are all over the map , not saying that the statments made in the book are correct but im also not saying most of you are either.
    its funny how EVERYTHING has to be scientific to you people before you belive it. prehistoric man – present day people do things way out of the norm, so how can you expect people to be easy read when humans can be so off the wall sometimes there is no explanation. yes in south america they may have only built 4 sided stuctures but whos to say they didnt plan on building a 25 sided struture one day. do white poeple only build castles and such the same as in the middle ages? why not thats what they built back then in europe so based on your SCIENCE they should always build the same strutures as they always have. …. come on people yes my anceasters may have been “Primative” in your eyes but that does not mean they didnt come up with differant ways of doing and building as they went.

    • Osayo Brother

      Guess what? Both the Cherokees and the Creeks whose roots are near Brasstown Bald Mountain are showing up with Maya and South American DNA. The USFS closed the trail leading to the archaeological site by cutting down over a hundred trees. They claim that they did this because of a request by Native Americans. I don’t believe that. I contacted my Creek tribal leaders. They said that no one from the USFS had contacted them. I talked to my Cherokee friends. They are all excited about the discovery.

      By the way, don’t believe that crap they said about me being uneducated. They always assume that about Native Americans. I have seven years of university education, received a fellowship to study Mesoamerican architecture in Mexico and taught the subject at Georgia Tech.

      The best time to go the ruins is after frost. My email address is below. I will be leading a group in November up the mountain. The town site is a half mile square and climbs 700 feet. Check back with me in early November via email and I will give your the details of the hike.

  23. Re: Mesoamerican influence on mound building in the SE United States.

    Big logical problem trying to pin mound building in the SE on influence from Mesoamerican societies – mound building in the SE predates

  24. [...] to the increased activity. However, it dropped rapidly in the following week, apart from an old post that got many hits because someone wants to capitalize on the 2012-phenomenon. So far, this tendency [...]

  25. What about all the creek Indians that have south american dna markers? They have been traced to Mexican native roots. Why is it so impossible to believe Mayans traveled? After all, they dissapeared from south America, right? They couldn’t possibly have gone into thin air, but that may be easier to believe, yes?

  26. I guess its coincidence that the Maya and creek share words in both languages too.

  27. Sigh. Why don’t people check things up before making comments? Here is some basic geographical information for you: South America is located south of Panama. The Maya live in North America, not South America (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_in_North_America).

    They have not disappeared. Roughly seven million Maya exist today (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_peoples). Please elaborate and give us a reliable sources for the DNA issue you bring up.

    • Here is an update on what is happening. We now have identified 14 terrace sites in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia. The sites in Virginia are where a branch of the Creeks, known as the Tamahiti (Tomahitans) lived until moving back to Georgia in the 1730s. Tamahiti is Itza Maya and Totonac for “merchants.” Using satellite imagery we are finding many large mounds in SW Virginia that no one knew existed – in addition to the stoneworks. I am currently trying to find grant money in order to hire first rate archaeologists to dive into these complexes. There is so much that we don’t understand right now. For example, why is Quechua & Maya DNA showing up in Cherokees in one Georgia county near Track Rock – while many Georgia Creeks are showing up with lots of Maya and Tupi-Guarani DNA? The picture we are getting is that maybe for centuries, Maya and Caribbean traders ventured into the Southeast’s interior to mine and capture slaves – then when all hell broke lose in the Maya cities, escaped slaves and disgruntled commoners started new lives in Georgia.

      • As Dr. Normark asked cj, “Please give a reliable source for the DNA issue that you being up.”

      • Give us also a reference for Tamahiti being a Maya word for merchants.

      • Itza Maya – not Puuc or Yucatan Maya. The Itza were under the domination of Totonac-speaking rulers from Teotihuacan from about 100 AD to 600 AD.
        Straight from the dictionaries. Tama means to trade or buy in Totonac today.

        Tamahi (Merchant or Trader) te – (people suffix in Itza & Itsate Creek)

        The Itza locative suffixes, pa, po and pas are also frequently used both Itza and Creek.

        Mvskoke Creek speakers converted the “p” to an “f”, so Mvskoke frequently uses fa and fo locative suffixes

      • Itza is closely related to Yucatec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itza%27_language), and not related to Totonacan languages within the time-frame you seem to work with (perhaps a couple of thousands year further back in time). Neither were the Itza dominated by Teotihuacan during this time frame. Teotihuacan was a hegemonic empire, not a territorial one. The hieroglyphic record from the Maya area shows that Teotihuacano influence on language was slim. As an archaeologist I care little for linguistic similarities in some words. I expect to see close similarities between pottery production, architectural details, settlement pattern, etc.

      • Good! The crown of the proto-Creek Great Sun was identical to that of the Itza sun god and Itza Great Suns. (hene-mako in both languages.) The Creek chiki (post-ditch prefabricated house) is identical to the Totonac and Itza chiki. (identical words) The shell/limestone grit tempered redware that appeared in Georgia around 900 AD is virtually identical to Maya Commoner shell/limestone grit Redware from that period. Mexican archaeologists have long known about the similarity between Creek and Itza art. That’s where I learned about it. The Itza’s were a different people than the other Mayas. Their priests spoke their aboriginal, non-Maya language. Their religion was different than that of the Classic Mayas,

        However, since we are talking about immigration of illiterate Itza commoners, not the 2-5% of literate Clasic Maya elite, I think ANTHROPOLOGISTS would totally disagree with your total reliance on physical artifacts. Itsate and Mvskoke are the most aberrant Muskogean languages. Where they are aberrant is the substitution of Itza Maya, Totonac and Tamauli words in place of root Muskogean words found in Choctaw, Chickasaw and Alabama. It was exactly the same process that French Norman changed Old English. Mesoamerican words predominate in Creek words having to do with political titles, architecture, agriculture and place names.

        However, these other Muskogean languages also use some Maya words, In contrast with Itsate Creek, though, they often have altered meanings. For example, the Choctaw word for a winter house, choko, means “warm” in Itsate Maya.

        You archaeologists who got sucked into making nasty personal comments without knowing my educational or ethnic background are just going to have to get over it. The Republicans in Georgia foolishly decided to get involved with Track Rock thing because of my long term friendship with the Carter family. Almost 50 years ago, the great archaeologist, Arthur Kelly, found artifacts along the Chattahoochee River which made him convinced that the Mayas had been in Georgia. It is not a radical, new idea.

      • “The Itza’s were a different people than the other Mayas. Their priests spoke their aboriginal, non-Maya language. Their religion was different than that of the Classic Mayas,”

        How do you prove that?

        “However, since we are talking about immigration of illiterate Itza commoners, not the 2-5% of literate Clasic Maya elite, I think ANTHROPOLOGISTS would totally disagree with your total reliance on physical artifacts.”

        The physical evidence have no connection to your main reliance on linguistics. Hence, I would like to see some physical archaeological evidence rather than speculations on something that cannot be proven. Illiterate people will still leave physical traces. And yes, I am an archaeologist, not an anthropologist.

        In any case, my interest in Georgian Maya pyramids is as great as my interest in Bosnian pyramids. Zero. My only interest for writing this post was the obvious attempt to capitalize on the 2012-hype. It is interesting to see that the post surged in traffic one or two days after the “end-date”… I am done with feeding the 2012-circus and its surroundings.

    • Yes, how depressing that despite the oceans of ink and megawatt-hours of Internet usage expended on “2012”, people still write that the Maya disappeared. Also, the Wikipedia “2012 Phenomenon” article, in its first paragraph, refers to “the Mayan Empire” of which Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were part. Unless scholarly opinion has changed, or unless I badly misunderstood what I read, there never was any “Mayan Empire”–especially one of such geographical extent–and the adjective “Mayan” is restricted to describing aspects of the languages.

      Am I wrong (again), or is Wikipedia just getting careless?

      • No, there never was a Maya Empire. The term may refer to old Mayanist research where they talked about the Old and New Empire (but that model has been abandoned for about 50 years). The term may have survived in the fringe literature which seldom is up to date of anything. Most 2012ers probably cannot make a distinction between political organization (empire) and culture. However, it would not surprise me if Mayanists in the near future begin to transform the Kan (Kaan) kingdom into an empire but it would be unrelated to the previous usage.


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